The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe will take full ownership of the Northwest’s premier Thoroughbred racing facility through purchase of Emerald Downs.
Tulalip News staff
In a statement released today by the Tribe, Muckleshoot will add to their list of enterprises owned by the Tribe with the purchase of Emerald Downs. An agreement between the Tribe and the Northwest Racing Associates will transfer full ownership and operational control of Emerald Downs to the Tribe. The transaction will close within 90 days.
No price was mentioned in the statement. The Tribe has owned the land under Emerald Downs since 2002, when it purchased the 157-acre property for $70 million and became the property landlord. Northwest Racing Associates has operated the racetrack since its launch in 1996, replacing the long standing Longacres Racetrack, which closed in 1992.
“The Tribe’s long-standing support of the state’s thoroughbred racing industry continues with this transaction,” said Muckleshoot Tribal Council Chair Virginia Cross in the statement about the Tribe’s purchase. “It is the Tribe’s goal to keep the thoroughbred horse racing industry as a viable part of our state’s economy. Emerald Downs sits in the center of the Tribe’s historical homeland and this transaction makes it an important part of our economic development program.”
The Tribe has invested more than $11 million in purse enhancements since 2004. The Tribe plans to conduct an evaluation of the racetrack to strengthen the performance of Emerald Downs.
Northwest Racing Associates President Ron Crockett will stay on as a consultant to the Tribe to help with the transition. Plans to keep the current management team in place are underway.
“My goal has always been to preserve this important industry,” said Crockett in the statement. “I have accomplished that goal and this is now a good time for the Tribe to step in and bring Emerald Downs to the next level.”
Emerald Downs is located in Auburn, Washington.