"Hard Rock Café Northfield" doesn't have quite the same ring as London or Barcelona, but Hard Rock International sees Northfield Park's harness-racing track as a perfect partner for a new $275 million entertainment complex it hopes to build here.
Hard Rock International chairman Jim Allen unveiled plans during a recent press conference at Northfield Park, which was capped by a two-song set from Everclear frontman Art Alexakis. The complex would be built on a section of parking lot near the harness track's grandstand.
There is currently no start date for construction, as the project depends upon the outcome of a lawsuit challenging the state legislature's approval of slot machines at Ohio's seven horse tracks. But Allen is confident it will soon be resolved.
Plans for the complex include 2,500 slot machines, an updated and interactive Hard Rock Café, a comedy club, restaurants and a 1,000- to 3,000-capacity music venue. Allen touts the relationship Hard Rock International has with musicians such as Alexakis, who was in town to perform at the downtown Hard Rock Café, when discussing the viability of the Northfield concert venue.
"Last year we did over 3,000 live music events," Allen says, "from something as simple as a battle of the bands with local groups to some of the largest acts out there."