Edmonton centre drops horse racing

One of Alberta’s largest agricultural societies has announced it is getting out of horse racing.

Tim Reid, Northlands chief executive officer, said this would be the last year of horse racing at Northland’s racetrack in Edmonton.

“It is with mixed emotions today that we talk about our partnership with (Horse Racing Alberta). What we do know, in co-co-ordination with horse racing, is 2016 will be our last year in the horse racing business.”

Reid’s announcement was part of the Northland’s vision for the future of the 160 acre facility, including Rexall Place.

The facility will become an athletic complex with seven sheets of ice across two levels, with the ability to be converted to host other indoor sports such as volleyball.

The current casino and racetrack will become an urban festival centre.

Other site renovations are expected to build a 5,000-seat venue for professional lacrosse, rodeo events, minor hockey tournaments and mid-size concerts.

2016 will also be the last year the Canadian Finals Rodeo will be held at Northlands. Negotiations are underway to hold the event in the new downtown arena.

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