The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

NYRA under fire ... again

The New York Racing Associations' efforts to hire a public relations and marketing firm at the Saratoga Race Course came under fire today during a meeting with the Franchise Oversight Board in the Capitol.

Board Chairman Robert Megna said it appeared NYRA had written a "directed contract" for the incumbent public relations and marketing firm in Saratoga Springs, Ed Lewi & Associates. The Board criticized NYRA for advertising the contract's request for proposal for a narrow window and took issue with the limited grading metrics bidders were informed of.

In defending the notification time frame of the RFP, NYRA President and CEO Charlie Hayward mentioned earlier media coverage that offered advance notice of the RFP that was advertised by NYRA on Jan. 8.

"Going back to December, there was a particular reporter from the Schenectady Gazette who had gotten wind of the fact that we were in the process of preparing an RFP," Hayward said. "So the first that people potentially learned about this was not on Jan. 8. There were two articles in the Schenectady Gazette and one in the Albany Times Union."

He argued that the 19 requests for the RFP indicated there was enough time to apply for it. Of the 19 firms that requested the RFP, three submitted bids and a fourth bid was thrown out because it was a day late.

Hayward said the limited number of bids was due to the demands laid out in the RFP.

The full critique of the board and NYRA's response can be found Wednesday in the Gazette's print edition and here at

Below you can view Hayward responding to the aforementioned criticisms and his reference to this Gazette reporter.

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February 15, 2012
10:58 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Charlie Hayward's body language in this clip is very interesting...

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