In a press release published this Wednesday, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has revealed the forthcoming closure of the state’s last horse racing track, Northville Downs. Established in 1944, the facility will mark its 80th anniversary this year. The current location, at 301 S. Center St. near 7 Mile Road in Northville will be operational until February 3, 2024, when the last race is scheduled to take place. Northville Downs allowed horse racing fans to watch and wager on live horse races on weekends and simulcast races during the week.
As of February 5, simulcast wagering in person at Northville Downs will no longer be possible. Despite the planned demolition of the physical racetrack, horse racing aficionados will be able to bet online through advance deposit wagering (ADW). The MGCB further shared a list of licensed operators including FanDuel Racing (TVG), NYRA Bets, Churchill Downs/Twin Spires, and Xpressbet. With the reopening of the racetrack at its new location, simulcast wagering will be available again, the regulator said.
Following a 2018 sales agreement with Hunter Pasteur Homes, a $250 million project will transform the current race track into a mixed-use complex. Besides the residential area including hundreds of homes, it will have a commercial space, as well as three parks. According to plans, the demolition of the track buildings will take roughly six months and the construction of multiple components of the project will begin in 2024. The project’s anticipated completion date is scheduled for 2027.
Plymouth Township Will Be the New Site of the Harness Racing Facility
The new 128-acre site will be at the southeast corner of Five Mile Road and Ridge Road in Plymouth Township. Following approval by the township board, Northville Downs will commence construction of the new harness racing facility.
As per the submitted construction plans, the project includes an oval harness racetrack, a 4,900-square-foot grandstand, and a 23,000-square-foot racing building. Additionally, there will be a 35,000-square-foot horse barn and a 3,200-square-foot maintenance building.
MGCB’s Executive Director, Henry Williams, commented on the forthcoming closure of the horse racing track, underlining the regulatory body’s appreciation of all customers of the facility “who have made each race day memorable and thrilling”. He further shared his excitement for the future of horse racing in Michigan at the new location.
The regulator further notified patrons of Northville Downs that they would be able to cash in winning bets until February 10, 2024. Following this date, they can mail winning tickets to Northville Downs, 47526 Clipper St., PO Box 701220, Plymouth, MI 48170. As for the winning pari-mutuel tickets, they must be presented for payment within 60 days of the race meeting, as per information by the MGCB.