The New York Racing Association (NYRA) has a new CEO and President in David O’Rourke, who’s served as interim CEO since January 23. He was unanimously appointed as the new CEO and President by NYRA’s Board of Directors. Effective today (March 26), O’Rourke will lead one of the country’s most prominent racing organizations, responsible for the management of Thoroughbred racing at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and of course, Saratoga Race Course.
Formerly NYRA’s Chief Revenue Officer and Senior Vice President, O’Rourke was declared NYRA’s Interim CEO in January when former CEO Chris Kay resigned after it was discovered Kay had used NYRA employees to do private work at his Saratoga Springs home, a breach of company policy.
O’Rourke first joined NYRA in 2008 as Director of Financial Planning, and just two years later was promoted to Vice President for Corporate Development. In 2013, he was appointed Chief Revenue Officer and Senior Vice President and was instrumental in leading the push to develop NYRA Bets, NYRA’s advance-deposit wagering (ADW) operations, now available in 30 states, as well as expanding NYRA’s television broadcasts, Belmont Park Live and Saratoga Live, which will now feature live racing day coverage of almost every race from the 2019 schedule at both tracks, respectively.
“I am honored to have been selected by the Board of Directors to lead NYRA during this exciting time in its storied history,” said O’Rourke in a prepared statement. “We have made tremendous progress as an organization over the past several years, but there is still much work to be done to continue to grow our racing product during an era of unprecedented competition and change within the sports and entertainment industry.
In addition to his more than a decade at NYRA, O’Rourke has also served on the Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), an advocacy group that works to increase the integrity and popularity of horse racing across the US. He’s also a member of the Saratoga Race Course Local Advisory Board. “I thank the NYRA Board for this opportunity and will continue to rely upon the outstanding talent within our organization as we work closely with industry partners and stakeholders to build upon our successes,” said O’Rourke.