Arlington Park horse racing enters final stretch as historic track to close Saturday
CHICAGO - After nearly 100 years, the historic Arlington International Racecourse is closing.
Saturday will be the final day of racing in Arlington Park's history after its owners, Churchill Downs, announced plans to close the track and sell the massive 326-acre property.
There has been horseracing at Arlington Park since 1927 with a couple of brief stops, including one for a massive fire that burned down the original track in the 1980s.
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Tickets for Saturday’s finale are sold out, but there may be some last minute tickets made available, according to the track.
After the final race Saturday, there will be a large fireworks show to celebrate the end of an era.
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Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes talked about what the closure of Arlington Park means to the community.
"Sad weekend for us in this community and the Northwest suburbs, losing a big community partner for Arlington Heights. They've been a part of our community for almost 100 years now. It's sad, but it's also special because we get to celebrate all that they meant to our community and really cherish the memories," Hayes said.
Park President Tony Petrillo called Arlington an "experience like no other."
"That's one thing that I'm the most proud of is the people that have made Arlington what it is today," Petrillo said. "The guest experience and really, until this very day, they've always been very invested in delivering the Arlington experience."
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There are multiple bidders interested in buying the 326-acre property including the Chicago Bears, who are looking at the possibility of putting their own stadium on the site along with an entertainment complex and some other retail.
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Hayes told FOX 32 Chicago that they hope to have a decision as to which direction they're going and who will get the property by sometime this fall.