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Whatever players are playing for SK Selects are having quite the summer, aren't they? Calgary Foothills, Vancouver Whitecaps U-23, Toronto FC II...what an opportunity for amateur Saskatchewan pla

Just to be clear, there are no Hydro poles blocking the stands??

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21 hours ago, Dominic94 said:


 

more so given how tightly kept this secret was, let’s be real here no one saw Sask coming and it was out of left field, more so after interest apparently dried up. Very well done by the league. 

Reminds me of when the Winnipeg Jets came back to the NHL, surprised everyone. Meanwhile here in Mtl we keep hearing people (Bunbury) saying "news coming soon" and 2+ years later................  but still waiting patiently.

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No narrative is what CTV has said to criticism of their handling of it. Yet pitting two parts of the community against each other with a poll is what they have done and like other media led with headlines that intimate soccer is killing horse racing. What is the goal of this poll, heaven forbid they could give a third option of "both", because people have to exclusively want one or the other. 

How about a logical question like "Amidst reports of heavy long term financial loses is Prairieland Park right to drop Horse Racing? Yes or no?"

The poll voting responses are already double the amount of any of their previous polls, it's almost as if it was organized. 

All the embedded related articles in their online coverage are about the Prairieland/Horse Racing coverage they have been pushing for months, zero related links to their previous coverage of the Pro Team efforts, which has been largely positive. No narrative though just good old wholesome balanced reporting.

Anyways, flogging a dead horse here. 

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13 hours ago, toontownman said:

....All the embedded related articles in their online coverage are about the Prairieland/Horse Racing coverage they have been pushing for months, zero related links to their previous coverage of the Pro Team efforts, which has been largely positive. No narrative though just good old wholesome balanced reporting....

Saying there is no narrative is progress in some ways. Sports media dinosaurs that viewed soccer as a non-Canadian activity only played by immigrants who should either assimilate or go back to their own countries never used to feel a need to hide their bias. Dave Perkins crusade in the Toronto Star to save a Sports Hall of Fame that was going to be demolished to make way for BMO Field had to be read to be believed. Soccer has become somewhat mainstream since the youth soccer registration boom of the 90s but the dinosaurs have not entirely departed the scene yet.

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4 hours ago, Ozzie_the_parrot said:

Saying there is no narrative is progress in some ways. Sports media dinosaurs that viewed soccer as a non-Canadian activity only played by immigrants who should either assimilate or go back to their own countries never used to feel a need to hide their bias. Dave Perkins crusade in the Toronto Star to save a Sports Hall of Fame that was going to be demolished to make way for BMO Field had to be read to be believed. Soccer has become somewhat mainstream since the youth soccer registration boom of the 90s but the dinosaurs have not entirely departed the scene yet.

So true being an old timer the crap that soccer has had to go through over the years especially in the mainstream media ridiculous. I remember a guy name Pat Marsden on CFTO here in Toronto  just bashing the sport one night on his sports cast lol and he just went on and on with the bashing , I think it was the early 80’s or something. Moreover, lost count on how many soccer bashing articles I read right here in Toronto papers by some well known sports writers back in the 80’s and 90’s. Thankfully the bashing seems to have died down , but ya back in the day these soccer bashers always had to do write their soccer bashing articles every once in awhile lol.

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I’m not sure the horse racing community has any chance of saving their track. 
 

they lose money, they’re wanted out, it’s not their land. There’s an owner in place who will pay 2/3rds the cost (probably the whole thing if he can get tax exempt status), a chance for a new endeavour to make money and they would pour investment into a place that needs it....

matter of time till shovels hit the ground.

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59 minutes ago, Dominic94 said:

I’m not sure the horse racing community has any chance of saving their track. 
 

they lose money, they’re wanted out, it’s not their land. There’s an owner in place who will pay 2/3rds the cost (probably the whole thing if he can get tax exempt status), a chance for a new endeavour to make money and they would pour investment into a place that needs it....

matter of time till shovels hit the ground.

While I feel evil, I hope so. Best case scenario Whitecap/Dakota Dunes come in and save the day by building a racetrack there. Then everyone wins. 

Going back to polls. They have their own petition which has been active since last August, more people took part in the CTV poll at 1849 votes. The Sask. Party likely won't look at it regardless but they certainly won't at that number of votes.

https://horseracingsaskatchewan.nationbuilder.com/

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Sorry for being a serial spammer at this stage, not sorry, just getting warmed up. 

The Wheatpool just shared this rebuttal to the CPL expansion tease video:

 

ALSO more importantly the Wheatpool is hosting a 45 min virtual Q&A session with Living Sky Sports & Entertainment principal Al Simpson this Thursday at 7pm (CST) on their Youtube Channel. People will be able to ask questions via YouTube's chat. All welcome to attend!

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On 3/14/2021 at 9:59 PM, DoyleG said:

 

Im such a geek waiting for someone to make such a dark horse reference.

Did they show the Dilbert toon up north? (I'm a dirty yank.)

Anyway, nice to see new teams still coming online up there.

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Update from Prairieland today on CKOM Radio.
 
 
The Prairieland CEO mentioned that there is no room for both at Prairieland, Horse racing was losing significant money and is over. Also said if they ran racing the last 2 seasons, Prairieland park may not be able to "keep the lights on" in 2022.
Edited by toontownman
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8 hours ago, toontownman said:
Update from Prairieland today on CKOM Radio.
 
 
The Prairieland CEO mentioned that there is no room for both at Prairieland, Horse racing was losing significant money and is over. Also said if they ran racing the last 2 seasons, Prairieland park may not be able to "keep the lights on" in 2022.

The effects of covid are a killer indeed, I don’t see how the track can be saved without significant investment from a new owner who will fund them. And how will they make money?

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A more positive article from CTV after they were taken to task for their "narrative" with horse racing vs soccer. A great read. 

https://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/mobile/here-s-why-a-pro-soccer-team-could-thrive-in-saskatoon-1.5351604

Main highlight for me is a stadium cost of $15-21m. With LSSE and Prairieland kicking in a significant amount they are looking to the provincial government and city of Saskatoon to cover the rest. Cant see that been more than $4-8m. I am optimistic. For what it brings to the city and province it is an absolute no brainer at that price.

Hope things are moving as fast as it feels!

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So I started digging into the annual report of Praireland just out of interest.  Like all businesses, an annual report doesn't give you a full explanation and if there are any trained eyes that want to look at it, I would encourage you to do so. 

The site is on leased land with the City of Saskatoon.  Prairieland is non-profit trade and convention and special events focused business that really started as a agricultural society in 1886 which probably included thoroughbred racing sometime soon after its inception.  There is a lot of history at this site with horse racing and it should be respected.

I think the definition of of nonprofit is important to denote:Non-profit organizations are associations, clubs, or societies that are not charities and are organized and operated exclusively for social welfare, civic improvement, pleasure, recreation, or any other purpose except profit.

The long and short of it, Praireland has business lines that are almost always break-evens exercises.  I have some experience in these sectors.  Interesting to note is that horse racing and the pub are put together as one line item on both the revenue and the expense side.  It's impossible really to know with accuracy, but I would imagine the pub makes up 90% of both line items. 

Moreover, the racing component talks about handle (wagering or total bets) which is distinct from win (what is kept after payouts for people actually winning on their bets).  Usually, there is also a commission structure for win to the operator, host (city maybe) and Off-Track Betting (OTB) vendor.  Bottom line, this business is not profitable and even casinos are getting rid of OTBs.  Basically, it's a declining form of gambling although it has historical connections.  Furthermore, most race tracks across the country have "racino" licenses and utilize slot machines (and some times tables) to subsidize the horse racing industry.  That hasn't occurred here and it looks like some agreement was made with Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Association (SIGA) which may have waived Praireland's right to have gambling on site. 

So the Board is left with a decision to subsidize a 24 day horse racing schedule.  Praireland were charging $2 per ticket for races in 2017 and raised it to $5 in 2019 noting "no resistance" to the price increase.    Those prices are quite frankly laughable and that's on the Board.  You have to at least cover your utilities and maintenance fees and that cannot be possible with those ticket prices.  My feeling is attendance, not disclosed, was quite low and they thought low tickets would help.  Any operator will tell you you need to value your own services for people to value it.  They undervalued it and put themselves in a place of zero growth and probably contributed to the decline of horse racing.  In combination with no racino license (even if temporary) and not investing in the product and offering discounted tickets.

To make it worse, this is a capital intensive complex with buildings and equipment.  In their amortization schedule, you can see most of their equipment is reaching end of life and they keep renovating buildings probably centered around the trade and convention business lines.  The grandstand will need some work as it was renovated a few years ago.  I would also think that the complex has a sweetheart deal on utilities as the utility board can assign who pays subsidized rates on electricity.  Basically, a tax on household utility rates to help industry.

I think the most alarming thing I saw was in their schedule of expenditures.  I really don't know how it works so there is probably a good explanation.  They list $9M in Wages and Benefits of the $20 M in total  expenditures.  Keep in mind that $2.2 M is in property and equipment amortization (basically not a real expense).  So Wages and Benefits makes up 50% of the expenses.  I counted around 70 staff which is $128K per head so not crazy when you include benefits $5-10K per head but I suspect that the Board and Executive team are way over compensated.  There is no way in the private sector (Board Members seem politically connected) that this type of compensation would fly for such a small staff.  But again, I've never operated a nonprofit so maybe this is normal so that you maintain your tax exemption.

Thoughts?

Edited by DigzTFC
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I got nothing against horse racing but if there is such a demand why don't these people build a horse track somewhere else? I'm guessing there is no shortage of land in Saskatchewan. Go for it. If I ever visit Saskatchewan I'll go to a CPL game and then watch the ponies the next day. Loose some money, why not?

Why is everything so complicated in Canada?

Edited by SpursFlu
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4 hours ago, Trois Reds said:

Considering the hoopla and the history, I'm going to take a not-so-serious guess at the team being named something like Thoroughbred FC or Racing Saskatoon.

Just a better excuse to sing Hi Ho Silver Lining in the stands. Not that anyone should need an excuse! To be fair the team should come out to it.

Edited by toontownman
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