Churchill Downs completes $79.0m purchase of Kentucky’s Ellis Park

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has completed its previously announced acquisition of the Ellis Park racetrack and gaming facility in Kentucky for a total consideration of $79.0m.


The agreement was announced earlier this month has now been approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, with CDI to take ownership of the venue from Ellis Park Racing & Gaming from Enchantment Holdings, which is part of Laguna Development Corporation.

The transaction was funded with cash on hand and through CDI’s existing credit facility.

Located in Henderson, Kentucky, Ellis Park hosts horse racing and also features a gaming facility venue with approximately 300 historical racing machines (HRMs).

The acquisition agreement also includes CDI assuming Ellis Park’s opportunity to construct a track extension facility at Owensboro’s Towne Square Mall. The new Owensboro Racing & Gaming site will house an entertainment venue with 600 HRMs, a simulcast wagering center and multiple food and beverage offerings.

CDI said that it expects the total investment in the Henderson and Daviess counties over the next hear to be approximately $75.0m, in addition to the purchase price.

“Our team is already hard at work in both Henderson and Owensboro,” CDI chief executive Bill Carstanjen said. “In the coming days, we look forward to sharing more about our plans to invest in the racing infrastructure at Ellis Park and to drive significant purse improvement through the Owensboro historical racing opportunity.”