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Remington Park, Zoo Reach Lease Agreement

22 July 2005

Las Vegas Sun

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The owners of Remington Park agreed Wednesday to pay the Oklahoma City Zoo at least $370,000 more per year to lease the racetrack property.

The payment is in addition to the $132,857 annually that Magna Entertainment Corp. already was obligated to pay.

Zoo officials demanded an increased lease payment because Magna stands to net several million dollars a year from a planned 650-machine casino at the racetrack.

Negotiations delayed the casino's construction by a month, and its proposed opening has been pushed back from Oct. 28 to Thanksgiving.

Whether the opening is pushed back further could hinge on whether the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission approves the track's gaming application today.

The zoo trust emerged Wednesday from a 30-minute executive session and unanimously approved Magna's latest offer to amend its lease.

"We've always seen Remington Park as a great asset to Oklahoma City ... and a great partner for the zoo. We are delighted that we've come to a resolution," said Bert Castro, the zoo's executive director.

Magna officials also said they were satisfied with the agreement.

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