In a not surprising but potentially crippling to Canterbury Park ruling, Ramsey County judge Kathleen Gearin ruled that the core functions of government must continue during any government shutdown and then proceeded to define “core” as narrowly as possible. In her ruling she stated that “the Court must construe any authority it has to order government spending to maintain critical core functions in a very narrow sense.”
A very narrow sense meaning that no consideration whatsoever is being given to the fact that oversight of the racetracks is paid in advance by the business and already sits in the government coffers. I have mentioned before that racing is not even close to a critical or core government service, but you would like to think that self-funded agencies like the Minnesota Racing Commission, the State Lottery and the Minnesota Zoo would be allowed to keep operating given their non-reliance on the general fund. The racetracks and the Zoo would be hammered over the most profitable business weekend of the year for them and, in the two racetracks case, would substantially hurt private business and force the layoffs of thousands of employees.
There may be other avenues to pursue staying open, but time is running out and that decision may not come quickly enough to save the weekend.