Group Aims to Bring Back Live Horse Racing to the Quad Cities - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Group Aims to Bring Back Live Horse Racing to the Quad Cities

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It's been about 20 years since the Quad City Downs race track in East Moline, Il has played host to a live horse race.
 
But Saturday night, a group of dozens of former track employees and their supporter got together in hopes of bringing the sport back to the Quad Cities.
 
They called their gathering a "family reunion" and used the gathering to reminisce about the Downs' "glory days" as they called them. They said in the 1970s and 80s, the park was vibrant and bustling with activity. Today, it is falling into a state of disrepair.
 
Now their goal is to get the park back to its original state -- Bringing in a source of entertainment and major revenue for the Quad Cities.
 
There's no official estimate of what horse racing could bring to the community -- but East Moline officials have said it would bring in more than it does now. That's about $20,000 dollars in property tax revenue annually.
 
Those aiming to bring back live racing say the only thing standing in their way is the Illinois state government.
 
A gaming bill must be signed into law before live horse racing can make a comeback here. The bill made progress back in May 2013, but was never signed into law.
 
It's something those at tonight's reunion are hopeful will happen.
 
"It just seems logical, I guess for one thing," event organizer John Barton and former Downs employee said. "If you ever watched races at the quad city downs - if you saw the whole package - it's just fun. I mean people brought their families."
 
The state legislature will reconvene next week and the group hopes lawmakers will take up the topic.