Century Mile horse racing track near Edmonton airport gets AGLC approval

The $50-million Century Mile Entertainment Centre got the go-ahead from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, taking one more step toward construction of a track, grandstand, slot machines, off-track betting and food and beverage outlets.

New track set to open in late summer of 2018

Horse racing will continue at Edmonton Northlands until the new Century Mile track opens in summer 2018. (Facebook/Northlands)

A new horse racing track in Leduc County has received approval from the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission.

The $50-million Century Mile Entertainment Centre will have a track, grandstand, slot machines, off-track betting and food and beverage outlets.

Paul Ryneveld, general manager of the Century Downs track near Calgary also operated by Century Casinos which will operate the new Edmonton track, said construction is expected to start this spring, with an opening in late summer 2018.

He said the location adjacent to Edmonton International Airport is ideal.

"The accessibility and the infrastructure there is superior to many other locations that may have been available in the Edmonton market," Ryneveld said.

"You have two exits off the QE2. You will ultimately be able to see it from the QE2. There's all the traffic that goes to the airport. It's such a great piece of land there and such a great location."

The project, which will have a one-mile track, was approved by Horse Racing Alberta last year.

The track at Edmonton Northlands will close as soon as Century Mile starts operations.

Horse Racing Alberta CEO Shirley McClellan said it will be great to finally have two stable A-grade tracks in Alberta, following years of uncertainty about the future of the track at Northlands.

"The industry has been waiting for the security and stability of two A-tracks and now they have it," she said. "Now it's a matter of moving on through the process to build the track and get it open."

Century Casinos opened the Century Downs racetrack at Balzac, Alta., 25 kilometres north of Calgary, in April 2015.