Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

01 February 2010

A Look Into The Bowels Of Aqueduct

While other local sports facilities profit from government arranged financing or municipal welfare, Aqueduct continues to receive nothing while it decays. When Aqueduct was cleared for slots in 2001 NYRA looked to be at the fore of the slots curve. Construction on a new MGM casino commenced in the Big-A grandstand. Then the construction was halted to make way for 9 years of political corruption, backdoor deals and kickbacks. While the local polito's have dished out out tax dollars to the sports teams, Aqueduct has received nothing while the politicians have profited from the favor of those that want to build the casino.

In the last decade Aqueduct's local entertainment competition has received over 2 billion in public funds to erect new facilities. The Yankees, Mets, Jets, Devils, Redbulls and Giants have all received public financed facilities. These teams do not contribute to the state with parimutuel taxes like racing does, nor do they contribute to the states agricultural economy or ensure greenspace like racing does. Racing does not swell the local population of shape-shifting philanders like these sports teams do. Here is the condition of Aqueduct in the closed portion of the grandstand from the eyes of a construction worker/urban explorer.

this area is closed to the public
Second Floor

fans loitering in the stairwells was once a problem, now this empty place is only haunted by the spirits of old horseplayers
Second Floor

the old backyard is used as an employee parking area


a ramp to nowhere

the back of the grandstand
Third Floor

escalators are ripped out
Third Floor

bare bones grandstand areas; there used to be a lone payphone fixed that wall that I used to use in the "beeper" age
Third Floor

an escalator is removed but is not replaced
Third Floor

the only thing snacking are the rodents
Third Floor

loft development idea: large room with good light, enjoys convenient subway access in an up and coming area of Queens
Second Floor

tearing down a wall in the men's room
Second Floor

construction halted mid-escalator removal
Second Floor

this escalator is for the birds
Second Floor
this place needs an immense amount of work before it is a viable facility
Second Floor

this floor was once teeming with race fans six days a week
Second Floor
the closed portion of the Aqueduct grandstand in almost a total ruin
Second Floor


Linda Dougherty said...

Gosh, how depressing! The glory days are really gone at The Big A!

G. C. said...

These pics are of the grandstand area this is closed, however the people of New York are used to the best of everything. They are not going to patronize a second rate facility. In it's current condition Aqueduct looks like a relic or an abandoned warehouse in places. Even lipstick is not going to help this pig. Any kind of New York tastemaker is not going to be caught dead at Aqueduct. Only a small percentage of the venue is currently in use; the majority of the joint hidden from the public looks like this these pics. I went to 1990's warehouse underground raves in better facilities than this.

The_Knight_Sky said...

Hey Power Cap. I never got the inclination to walk into this portion of the Big A. I feared for my safety and I didn't have a breathing mask with me. ;-)

But kudos to you my good man. I'm glad you made it out alive.

I'm surprised they didn't bolt it up already. Again...the Big A should have never been allowed to get into this state of disrepair. New York racing deserves much better.

I've noticed they have similarly shuttered Belmont Park on the stretch before the 1/8th pole. How long before that grandstand starts to resemble the Big A?

And this was the host site of the 1985 Breeders Cup. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

SaratogaSpa said...

Just makes you want to take your lovely lady out to the Track for a day at the races, doesn't it??

Unknown said...

Reminds me of my last visit to Atlantic City Race Course about 20 years ago.
Made my first pari mutuel wager there in 1966.I was 17.
Walked up to revisit one of my old favorite spots above the third floor grandstand.It was boarded up and filled with all kinds of stuff from all over the track.
Like looking death in the eye.I could have cried and probably shoud have.