By Eden Laikin
It’s Belmont Stakes Weekend – one of the largest sporting events in the world – and Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano is pleased to kick-off the festivities, which begin tonight and mark the start of the summer tourism season in Nassau.
The annual Belmont Stakes attracts tens of millions of viewers watching from across the world; and thousands of spectators at the track, pouring millions of dollars into the local economy. Economists predict that Belmont Racing season will generate nearly $10 million for the County – not counting the benefit from visitor spending their dollars at local restaurants, hotels, and cafes.
“It is this Saturday in which millions of eyes from around the world will be on Nassau County and the premier Belmont Park,” County Executive Mangano said. “We expect tens of thousands of spectators to be in attendance at this Saturday’s Belmont Stakes event.”
County Executive Mangano was joined for the kick-off, at the Garden City Hotel, by Acting Police Commissioner Tom Krumpter; representatives of the New York Racing Association (NYRA); Long Island Rail Road (LIRR); and the Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau (LICVB).
In addition to a large spike expected in tourism revenue for local businesses, the Belmont Stakes also brings with it, traffic expectations, road closures and beefed-up security. Motorists can expect delays on Hempstead Turnpike and surrounding secondary roads throughout the day.
The Nassau County Police Department has been meeting with the New York State Police, the MTA Police, the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Belmont’s private security and other law enforcement agencies in an effort to work together to protect our residents and visitors.
“Rest assured that additional resources and personnel will be utilized to help ensure that Saturday’s Belmont Stakes is a fun filled day for everyone without incident,” the County Executive said.
Gates open at 8:30am and races will be taking place from approximately 11:30am to 7:00pm.
The Belmont Stakes is the third leg of thoroughbred racing’s prestigious Triple Crown, also comprising the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. This is the 148th annual Belmont Stakes, held at Belmont Park.
County Executive Mangano urged those who plan to attend this weekend, to take mass transit.