Hard Rock meets Northfield Park.
Hard Rock International and Milstein Entertainment unveiled plans for a $275 million gaming and entertainment development complex to be built at the racetrack Wednesday afternoon.
The proposed project will include a Hard Rock branded gaming center, Hard Rock Cafe, steakhouse, as well as a center bar, buffet and conference and meeting space.
“We are thrilled to be working with Milstein Entertainment and the Northfield Park team on this project,” Jim Allen, Chairman of Hard Rock International said. “We look forward to bringing the renowned Hard Rock brand to Northfield Park, as the Hard Rock Gaming and Entertainment Facility would be a state-of‐the‐art venue, providing world class entertainment experiences that are unique to the region to complement he local community and its surroundings.”
The Hard Rock gaming and entertainment facility would be developed as part of the existing Northfield Park Racetrack in Northfield, Ohio and be built next to the existing grandstand.
“Being from Northeast Ohio, I take great pride in the region and the partners we choose to bring here,” Brock Milstein, Chairman and CEO, Northfield Park and Milstein Entertainment said. “Given the impressive history of the Hard Rock brand and its reputation for developing fun and unique experiences around the world, we couldn’t have chosen a better global brand to develop and operate this venue.”
While specific laws governing the gaming aspect of the facility are ironed out in the legislature, the slots-only racino will include 2,500 machines – the maximum allowed by Ohio law.
An agreement with the state, which was reached last year by the owners of the four full gaming casinos, Rock Gaming and Penn National, cleared the way for video lottery terminals or VLTs at the state’s seven horse racing tracks – including Northfield.
A $50 million licensing fee must be paid by the track to the state and a minimum of $150 million must be invested into the facility, which Northfield’s plan exceeds by far.
Developers say they anticipate the project will generate nearly 1,000 temporary construction jobs as well as 1,000 permanent positions.
The development also provides the flexibility for future expansion including a hotel which is has yet to be planned but is a long term goal Milstein said.
Allen said that Hard Rock’s downtown Cleveland location will not be affected by the new development and the cafe will remain open for the foreseeable future.
- Daryl Ruiter / CBS Cleveland
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