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Officials Discuss Plans, Timeline For $150M Racetrack Coming To Oak Grove

Churchill Downs Incorporated
Initial rendering of the Oak Grove facility

Churchill Downs officials met with the Oak Grove mayor’s office on Wednesday to discuss plans for the new $150 million racetrack coming to the west Kentucky community.

This was their first sit-down meeting since the license was approved earlier this month by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Churchill Downs will own 95 percent of the venture and Keeneland will own 5 percent, according to The Associated Press.

The building of a harness racetrack is set to begin right away with an expected completion of October 2019, just in time for 12 race days in October and November.

A four-story hotel, grandstand, amphitheater, gaming center with 1,500 historical racing machines and an RV park are expected to be complete in 2020. The amphitheater inside the racetrack will be used for concerts and other events. The project also includes a sit-down restaurant and two grab-and-go venues, as well as an event center that can accommodate around 3,000 people.

Oak Grove has a population of more than 7,000 and is adjacent to Fort Campbell on the state line between Hopkinsville and Clarksville, Tennessee.

City Clerk Angela Comperry said the large center will be great for the city. “It will bring people from all around: from Nashville, Evansville and different places in between. It’s just going to be a big thing for Oak Grove to have this.”

The project is on 240 acres off of Fort Campbell Boulevard and will create 400 full-time and part-time jobs as well as 800 temporary construction jobs.

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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