Common sense trumps analysis
Your editorial concerning the Ohio State Racing Commission’s actions on the proposed track in Austintown asks: “What does the commission know about the fan base in the Mahoning Valley?” The question is not valid. You don’t necessarily need context, surveys or market analysis to come to an intelligent decision. What you really need is good, common sense.
Forget about the 518 indoor seats with views of the track, the 242 indoor seats with no track views and the 650 outdoor seats. If the proposed racing dates of Oct. 15 thru April 15 are valid, good, common sense dictates a number of indoor tables of 4, 6, or 8 seats and a complimentary number of indoor seats with a view of the track. It’s been my experience that most people visiting a facility such as this consider it as much a social function as an opportunity to wager on live horse racing or simulcasting. The proposed dates make all the outdoor seating virtually worthless.
Whatever the Penn National motive is, simply because Penn National has 20 horse racing and casino gambling facilities throughout the United States and Canada, don’t assume they can’t make a mistake. Much larger companies than Penn National have made significant errors in judgment that seriously threatened their future and financial success.
It’s in the best interest of everyone in the Mahoning Valley (especially ardent horse racing fans) that Penn National refrain from making such an huge error on a project of such importance to our area.
We only have one chance to make this right. Let’s not blow it.
Emil Saloom, Canfield