Group Pushing to Bring Racing Back to QC Downs - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Group Pushing to Bring Racing Back to QC Downs

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The Quad City Downs hasn't seen live horse racing in about twenty years. But, on Saturday, dozens gathered at the track in hopes of changing that.

The group, made up mostly of former employees and horsemen who raced at the track, were gathered for the 2nd annual Quad City Downs Reunion. Organizers called it a "family reunion" of all the workers.

The group campaigning for the change says the move would bring not only entertainment to the area, but a lot of revenue as well.

Right now, they say, the only thing standing in the way of brining back live racing is the Illinois state government.

Back in May, the legislature made progress with a bill that would allow the activity to make a come back to the park, but that bill has yet to become a law.

Folks at Saturday night's event say they're hopeful it will pass.

"It just seems logical, I guess for one thing. 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," John Barton, organizer of the Quad City Downs Reunion, said.

The state legislature will reconvene next week, and those in support of bringing live horse racing back say they're hopeful our lawmakers will take up the topic.

There isn't an official estimate of how much money allowing horse racing here would bring, but East Moline city officials have told us in the past it would at least bring in a lot more than it does now. Currently, the Downs brings in about $20,000 in property tax revenue.

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