While many eyes were hooked to the racetrack during Saturday's Preakness Stakes, others were forced to deal with poor bathroom conditions at Pimlico Racetrack. The longtime home of the second race of the Triple Crown is in the midst of a battle to keep the race, though the conditions at the track on race day might give fuel to those looking to the move the race elsewhere.
According to The Baltimore Sun, patrons for the race were met with plumbing troubles only hours before the races began. All of the women's restrooms in the grandstand area were closed due to "plumbing issues," and the men's rooms were "equally unpleasant" with visitors complaining about toilets that wouldn't flush and overflowing toilets.
"When you think you have seen it all at Preakness you haven’t! Attendant heading out toilet paper to the ladies in the bathroom line. All dispensers are broken," one fan wrote on Twitter. "Then you can’t put the toilet paper in the toilet they have to dispose it in the tampon containers. Unbelievable!!"
Many of the fans in attendance walked away from the bathroom with horror stories to share, with many noting the bathroom situation was just as bad one day prior during the Black Eyed Susan festivities. According to The Baltimore Sun, attendee Marty Arnold was faced with a closed women's bathroom and a request to the use the men's room.
“It was a disaster,” Arnold said before adding that the men's room wasn't better. "But even then the men were coming out and telling us not to go in there, it was that bad.”
Some fans decided to make the best of it and joke about the situation online.
"Oh crap! Best not to wear nice shoes at the race today," one fan wrote.
"Uh holy cow y’all the Preakness is a mess today. (Even before the loose horse on the track)," another wrote noting the thrown jockey at the start of the main race.
This is not the first year for plumbing issues at the Preakness, with many eyes looking at the ongoing discussions on moving the Triple Crown race as a looming reason for the lack of repairs. An official statement from the Maryland Jockey Club tried to explain the issues for 2019.
“The plumbing issues are related to the high volume of usage, but water has been restored. We apologize for the inconvenience to our guests. These types of incidents are unfortunate when dealing with the aging infrastructure of a 100+ [years old] facility.”
Racing fan and Maryland resident Dawn Siecker summed up the feelings for The Baltimore Sun, saying the current state of the facility was poor and a move to nearby Laurel Park would break "tradition."0comments
“This stuff didn’t happen overnight,” she said. “The grandstands, the toilets — they didn’t just randomly start crumbling and breaking."
According to CBS Sports, it has been reported that Pimlico needed $300 million in renovations and had "6,670 grandstand seats deemed 'no longer suitable'" by inspectors earlier this year.