Churchill Downs officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking Wednesday on a $60 million historical racing facility in Louisville.

The 85,000 square foot Derby City Gaming will open next fall at the old Trackside — or Sports Spectrum site — off Poplar Level Road.

The facility will feature 600 historical racing machines that allow players to wager on videos of previously run thoroughbred races. It will also have a simulcast wagering area along with food venues and a 50-seat bar.

Churchill Downs racetrack president Kevin Flanery said the venture will allow the track to boost live racing purses.

“Facilities like this are absolutely critical if we want to keep Kentucky’s racing industry thriving, to keep our signature industry competitive with other states,” he said.

Flanery said the project will create 250 construction jobs and 150 year-round jobs at the facility.

“We’ll be back in touch when we’re ready to fill those jobs, because we know the local community wants to be a part of the success of this facility.”

Derby City Gaming is scheduled to open next fall.

Rick Howlett is WFPL's Broadcast Editor and also produces feature and general assignment radio stories.