100,000 Expected On Hand To Watch 'I'll Have Another' Try To Make History

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Belmont Stakes is this weekend and Long Island is already counting the blessings of having one of the largest sporting events in the world in the Tri-State Area.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports

With upwards of 100,000 people in town for Saturday’s big race, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano is urging them to spend.

EXTRA: Your Guide To The Belmont Stakes

“Belmont Stakes has been one of the leading, annual events in our county,” he said Thursday. “With the Triple Crown potential, one can only imagine the economic benefit that we will generate this year.

“As I’m sure you can imagine, the Stakes is great for our economy, great for our quality of life and a lot of fun.”

A sweep of  the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont has been achieved only 11 times in history. Since 1978 there have been 11 misses. “I’ll Have Another” will be trying to stay out of the near-miss club, CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.

Officials said the race and the specter of witnessing history is pumping millions of dollars into the local economy.

“Filing our hotels, filing our restaurants and boosting our economy overall,” said Moke McGowan, President of the Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau.

WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reports |titles=Belmont Stakes Big Boon For L.I. Businesses|artists=Mike Xirinachs]

“Just the preparation, the upcoming event, a little more buzz on the street, people out a little more,” said David Montos, who owns a deli across the street from the park. “It just helps out, it’s just great.”

“We do floral arrangements, center pieces, and it does bring up local business a lot,” Barbara Paulik of Feldis Florist told CBS 2’s Gusoff.

The Long Island Rail Road is also ready for the huge crowds expected to come in from out-of-town to attend the Belmont Stakes.

“We could possibly get as much as a third of the gate coming by public transit, the Long Island Rail Road,” said LIRR President Helena Williams.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports

Spectators can bring in lawn chairs and coolers  for a family picnic in Belmont’s sprawling backyard, but are advised to leave at home the alcohol. They are also being encouraged not to drive.

There will be 18 trains ready to bring spectators to and from the race. Williams said it’s only a 36-minute train ride from Penn Station. For more information about getting to the race from the LIRR, click here.

There are also events and festivities in several communities leading up to Saturday’s big event. Admission $10 for the grandstand and $20 for a clubhouse seat.

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