by NYRA Press Office
The New York Racing Association, Inc. won the Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal “Sports Event of the Year” award for the 2015 Belmont Stakes on Wednesday night. NYRA earned top honors among a premier group of finalists that included Super Bowl 50, the FIFA Women's World Cup Final, Bojangles' Southern 500 and the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao prize fight.
“This honor belongs to all the men and women of the New York Racing Association, who have embraced change and implemented the solutions that made the 2015 Belmont Stakes the greatest sporting event of the year,” said Chris Kay, President and Chief Executive Office of the New York Racing Association. “I thank our board of directors, who are totally committed to improving the quality of racing and creating significant economic impact– and jobs– throughout New York State. This is a tremendous honor for NYRA and we thank our fans and guests for their continued support.”
Launched in 2008, the Sports Business Awards were established by Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily to celebrate and recognize the leaders, visionaries and day-to-day practitioners who personify excellence in the business of sports.
The 2016 nominees and winners were recognized for excellence and outstanding achievement in the business of sports for the period from March 1, 2015 – February 29, 2016.
The 2015 Belmont Stakes, which saw American Pharoah become just the 12th winner of horse racing's vaunted “Triple Crown” and the first in 37 years, was the highlight of the inaugural three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. Generating more than $165 million in total wagering and attracting 100,749 fans during the three day period, the festival was the most successful event in New York's long-storied history of Thoroughbred horse racing.
On Belmont Stakes day, a sold-out crowd of 90,000 enjoyed world class racing, hospitality and entertainment. Additionally, the NBC Sports Group broadcast averaged 20.5 million viewers throughout the afternoon, with millions more around the world experiencing the day through the lens of NBC, NYRA's broadcast partner and home of the Triple Crown.
Millions more across the world experienced the day through the lens of the NBC Sports Group, NYRA's broadcast partner and home of the Triple Crown.
An incredible racing lineup featured 11 graded stakes races and nearly $10 million in purses during the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, culminating in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes.
Reflecting NYRA's commitment to expanding its fan base, Belmont Stakes Day featured performances from Tony-award winning Broadway show Jersey Boys, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and a post-race concert by Grammy-nominated musicians, the Goo Goo Dolls.