$ 25 million in equine center horse racing, Sturbridge sports betting

STURBRIDGE – A longtime racehorse owner is proposing to build a $ 25 million equestrian center with horse racing and sports betting on the east side of Interstate 84.

The Sturbridge Agricultural and Equestrian Center, proposed by Armand Janjigian, would include a one-kilometer dirt track and a seven-eight-mile, 223-acre turf track on Cross and Breakneck roads.

In addition to being used for horse racing, the center would also include restaurants, a community center, athletic fields, walking and educational trails, and conference space. It would host in-person and online sports betting, festivals and musical performances.

Janjigian provides $ 1 million in annual income and benefits for the city, and the creation of 100 jobs for residents of the area.

He said the New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeders Association both support this project.

Public hearings will be held at 6:30 p.m. on September 13 at Publick House and at 6:35 p.m. on September 28 at Burgess Elementary School before the proposal goes to a special town hall.

City administrator Jeffrey K. Bridges Jr. said he thinks the farm and equestrian center is an attractive proposition with pros and cons.

“I’m sure they’ve heard support and concerns throughout the community and it really comes down to responding to those concerns and people understanding what it is and what it isn’t,” he said. said Bridges. “This is not a casino. There is no table game. There are no slot machines. As the claimant said, it is 10 races a year, plus a streak. community events that the city (is) able to coordinate with them.

If the site is approved by elected officials on Sept. 13 and city voters pass amendments to the city’s zoning bylaw and zoning map with a two-thirds margin at the city assembly, Bridges said that the center would primarily facilitate on-site horse betting and online sports betting. .

Regarding traffic problems, the applicant made the proposal without any Sturbridge access to the site.

“It’s on the Connecticut state border. Their access point will be through one of 84 rest areas, so there is no local access to the site for customers visiting the facility, ”said Bridges. “The major traffic concern on Breakneck Road (at Sturbridge) has been alleviated by not having access from Breakneck Road.”

Bridges said there were residential mounds and the town of Sturbridge is a mound with its transfer station.

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