The New York Racing Association has asked a bankruptcy judge for more time to control its Chapter 11 case as it finalizes a deal with the state that would allow it to emerge from bankruptcy.
The horse racing association’s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization — which its creditors have already voted to accept — relies on recently enacted state legislation that awards NYRA a franchise to operate three state racetracks for the next 25 years.
While details are complete, NYRA asked the bankruptcy court to extend through April 15 the time in which other parties are blocked from submitting rival plans for NYRA’s reorganization. Otherwise, rival parties could submit plans as soon as Saturday.
“At this time, NYRA requires additional time in order to ensure that NYRA and the state of New York can complete the documentation of the necessary agreements with respect to the next franchise and the terms of the state settlement agreement and ensure consummation of the plan,” NYRA said in court documents filed Tuesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.
“Simply put, NYRA merely wants all parties to remain in place while the finishing touches are placed on the concluding chapter of this Chapter 11 case,” the association said.
NYRA, which has previously won several extensions of its period of exclusive bankruptcy control while it awaited the legislative deal, said it’s currently “poised on the brink” of emerging from bankruptcy.
It said it doesn’t seek to keep control in order to exert leverage over parties in its case or to work on its plan, because it’s already completed “all of the necessary steps to emerge from the Chapter 11 process and more.”
NYRA said its official committee of unsecured creditors and the state support its request. The bankruptcy court will consider whether to grant the extension at a hearing next week.
As part of the deal with the state, NYRA — which has operated the state’s three largest race tracks under a state franchise since 1955 — would cede its claim of ownership to the racetracks. The state has also agreed to provide $105 million in funding and to drop its claims against NYRA.
A NYRA attorney has said that the company will use $75 million of those funds to repay its creditors. The remaining $30 million would be used to cover operating costs.
NYRA, which runs the Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga racetracks, has been under Chapter 11 protection since November 2006.