The Chatter

Friday Replay: ​Who Will Pay for Pimlico Renovations?

And other top news from Baltimore sports this week.

By Jess Mayhugh | March 3, 2017, 2:36 pm

-Courtesy of WikiCommons
The Chatter

Friday Replay: ​Who Will Pay for Pimlico Renovations?

And other top news from Baltimore sports this week.

By Jess Mayhugh | March 3, 2017, 2:36 pm

-Courtesy of WikiCommons

Who will pay for Pimlico renovations?
One week ago, the Maryland Stadium Authority released a report saying that in order for Pimlico to be a long-term host of the Preakness Stakes, the 147-year-old venue would need a whopping $300 million in renovations. The study—funded by the authority, Baltimore Development Corp., and Pimlico owner The Stronach Group—recommends improvements to plumbing and electricity, new security entrances and infield tunnel, renovations to the clubhouse and grandstands, better marketing for the grounds and surrounding neighborhood, and permanent concessions and bathrooms to the infield (a long way from the “running of the urinals” days).

But now the question becomes: Who should be signing that check? In a game of hot potato, Mayor Catherine Pugh said she believes the burden falls on the state, according to the Baltimore Business Journal. “I think public-private partnerships will [be key],” she said. “States have always come to the aid for local stadiums, as they did for the stadiums that are currently in Baltimore. I would look for that same kind of support in this case.” However, Governor Larry Hogan told WBAL Radio the day before that the state is “not going to write a check for $300 million” in order to protect taxpayers’ money.

This, of course, leads to the ultimate question of whether it’s worth it to keep the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. The idea of moving it to Laurel Park has been entertained in the past. “[Preakness is in Baltimore] for as long as I can see right now,” Maryland Jockey Club president Sal Sinatra told us last year. “Nobody wants it to move. Maybe one year, you’ll have to let Laurel [host] it because they’re renovating the entire grandstand, but other than that I would hope that Pimlico would last another 100-plus years.”

The governor’s office claims to share that sentiment, saying that Hogan “supports keeping the iconic horse race in the city.” But, so far, the governor’s track record has shown a tendency to prioritize county needs over those of Baltimore City, and a move to a renovated Laurel Park would be consistent with that policy. We’re not sure where money for a renovated track will come from (Kevin Plank, anyone?) but we certainly hope Preakness can stay where its history and tradition has been written all along.

Adam Jones attends Duke game—fans freak.
If there is one quality that sticks out in Maryland sports fans, it’s their loyalty—and sometimes to a fault. On Wednesday, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones took a break from spring training to attend the Duke-Florida State game at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. Jones was there as a guest of the Blue Devils (Orioles president John Angelos is an alum) and, once he tweeted about it, fans started to freak.

Jones has explained many times in the past that he is not a Duke fan, but that did not stop the barrage of comments from die-hard Maryland sports fans. In true AJ style, he shot down commenters pretty quickly. Meanwhile, Jones has been impressive in Sarasota, with six hits in 14 at bats with two home runs and two doubles in five games. He’ll represent Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, which starts on Sunday.

Ravens tight end donates $10,000 to paralyzed player.
Ravens tight end and University of Georgia alum Benjamin Watson donated $10,000 to build for UGA player Devon Gales. In 2015, Gales suffered a spinal cord injury during a game, which left him paralyzed from the waist down.

"I had the opportunity to meet Devon at a Georgia game in 2015 and was impressed by his determination courage and resilience,” Watson said to The Telegraph in Georgia. "He and his family have experienced unique challenges and I hope our donations, words and prayers will encourage them as much as they have inspired us. I'm glad they a part of the Georgia family."

Watson also encouraged other UGA alum to donate to “The Dawg House,” named after the school’s mascot. He took to Twitter to encourage donations from players like A.J. Green, Geno Atkins, Chris Conley, and Malcolm Mitchell.

St. Frances girls' basketball team continues to stun
The girls' basketball team at St. Frances Academy is on its way to being the first undefeated team in program history. Just yesterday, according to Katherine Dunn of The Sun, the team improved to 28-0 with a sunning 104-29 victory over Bishop Walsh in the titular Bishop Walsh Invitational Tournament. The championship game, possibly against fierce competitors McDonogh (24-3), is set for Saturday night at 5 p.m. But we’re not sure how it can get more joyous than these faces.

Meet The Author

Jess Mayhugh is the digital editor for Baltimore, where she covers nightlife, sports, food, and events.

You May Also Like

The Birds Nest

Orioles Execs Not Mentioned in ‘AstroGate’ Sign-Stealing Scandal

GM Mike Elias and the O’s other ex-Astros employees have steered clear of the fallout.

Arts & Culture

2019: Year In Review

Twenty of the most pivotal events in Baltimore this year, in chronological order.


All in a Day With Ronnie Stanley

We follow the daily routine of the Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle.

Ravens Watch

The Stunning End to This Ravens Season Won’t Be Easy To Get Over

From a "car crash" to a bad dream, here’s what players said after the team’s unexpected playoff exit.

Ravens Watch

The Story Behind The Virtual Raven That Took Flight at M&T Bank Stadium

Mixed-reality experts explain the process of creating, and executing, the experience.

Connect With Us