Special session to make sure the Preakness doesn't become the next Colts?
From the Baltimore Sun's Laura Smitherman:
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said today he would be open to holding a special session of the General Assembly if legislation is needed to ensure the Preakness Stakes stays in Maryland.
The lawmaker, a staunch supporter of horse racing, has been talking in recent days about the possibility of the state taking over the race in case its owner, the bankrupt Magna Entertainment Corp., seeks to sell the rights to an out-of-state buyer.
"It’s not only a matter of pride, it’s a matter of economic development," Miller said. "The question is do you want the Preakness run in Florida or California? Or even worse do you want the Preakness run in West Virginia or Delaware?"
The current legislative session ends next month, and Miller said state officials must wait for Magna’s next move. The best option, he said, would be for a "white knight" buyer to take over Magna’s tracks in Maryland and keep the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course. While Maryland law gives the state the option to buy the Preakness if it is for sale, that would be the last resort, Miller said.
Remember what happened with the Colts? Not this time, he said.
"We all remain traumatized by the Colts moving out of Baltimore in the middle of the night," he said. "That’s not going to happen. We’re forewarned. The Preakness is going to stay in Maryland, period. Guaranteed."
-- Laura Smitherman