Wareham Park proposal launched in southern Massachusetts

In Massachusetts and a consortium of property developers has reportedly launched an ambitious plan that could see a $300 million horseracing and entertainments venue built on a 275-acre parcel of land near the southern town of Wareham.

According to a Tuesday report from local television broadcaster, WJAR-TV, the syndicate is being led by Quincy-based entrepreneur, Thomas O’Connell, and wants its proposed Wareham Park facility to feature a mile-long thoroughbred horseracing track that would be comparable to New York’s historic Saratoga Race Course.

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The broadcaster reported that the group revealed that it would also like to bring a small baseball stadium to the future Plymouth County development to serve as a permanent home for the Wareham Gatemen of the collegiate Cape Cod Baseball League. In addition, the collective plans to lobby for a change to Massachusetts gaming laws so that Wareham Park could offer approximately 1,250 slots or electronic gaming devices.

Competition concerns:

WJAR-TV reported that the projected Wareham Park is not being designed to compete with the recently-opened Encore Boston Harbor resort casino, which sits some 60 miles away in the northern Boston suburb of Everett, or the state’s even closer slots-only Plainridge Park Casino facility but would use gambling simply as a way to attract a wider range of patrons.

O’Connell reportedly told WJAR-TV…

“This is absolutely not a casino proposal. What we’re trying to do is leverage the electronic gaming to do all the other great things in this location. You can rethink an industry and if you can make something fun, people will participate and that’s what we think 7BALL we can do with thoroughbred racing.”

Community benefits:

Finally, O’Connell told the broadcaster that a fully finished Wareham Park, which would sit off Glen Charlie Road just north of Massachusetts Route 25, would take around two years to construct and could create up to 1,000 new jobs while generating as much as $50 million in annual tax revenues.

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