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MetraPark grandstands demolition postponed as hearing is set

Posted at 10:33 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 10:21:40-04

Plans to demolish the grandstands at MetraPark are on hold as the Montana Racehorse Owners Association seeks an injunction to slow down the project.

The demolition had been scheduled for this week until the suit was filed Monday in Yellowstone County. District Judge Rod Souza set a hearing in the case for next Tuesday.

The horse-racing group contends Yellowstone County commissioners failed to consider the historical value of the aging facility when demolition plans were approved in February.

At that time, the cost to refurbish the grandstands was estimated at more than $20 million, while demolishing the structure would cost $700,000.

It's been nine years since horse racing took place at Yellowstone Downs.

County Commissioner John Ostlund told Q2 News Tuesday that while he loves horse racing, the revenue to support the 71-year old facility no longer exists.

Dan Fuchs, with the racehorse owners, said his group believes the project could qualify for federal grants that could help offset the cost to taxpayers.