Thursday, March 22, 2018

Kuyvashev proposes idea of horse racetrack in Yekaterinburg

Sverdlovsk Governor Yevgeny Kuyvashev proposed the construction of a horse racing track in Yekaterinburg during his visit with officials from the city's Ministry of Physical Culture, Sport and Youth Policy last week.

Kuyvashev's proposal calls for the construction of a 1,600-meter race track similar to an existing facility in Kazan. Horse racing was a popular pastime in Yekaterinburg from 1886 until 1960 when the city's Hippodrome track was closed by order of Nikita Khrushchev, Oblastnaya Gazeta reports.

Kuyvashev said he would be willing to allocate nearly $14 million for the construction of a brand new racing facility. Although gambling is currently illegal in the Sverdlovsk region, betting on horse races has historically been allowed and could potentially be a source of income for the city and the region through the sale of tickets and the renting of horse stables.

The prospect has attracted interest from Regional Equestrian Federation President Mikhail Kazantsev, who has offered to help organize the construction of such a facility in Yekaterinburg. According to Kazantsev, the cost a suitable race track may only need to reach $5.6 million-- less than half of the cost Kuyvashev was willing to invest, according to Oblastnaya Gazeta.