SBD/Issue 236/Facilities & Venues

NYRA Touts Saratoga Meet Success In Bid To Keep Franchise

Saratoga Race Course’s summer meet ended Monday with “attendance and on-track handle roughly equal to last year’s averages, and a nearly 5[%] increase in total wagering,” according to Dennis Yusko of the Albany TIMES UNION. Attendance for the ’06 season totaled 908,569, “far short of the golden 1 million mark reached in years past, but on par with last year’s meeting, during which the daily average was nearly 26,000.” This year’s meet had one fewer racing day than in ’05 “because of a heat-related cancellation.” Average on-track wagering “fell slightly” from ’05, but total average betting including simulcasting “was $15.6[M], an increase over last year.” NYRA said that the success of the meet “proves that it deserves to have its franchise to operate Saratoga and [Aqueduct and Belmont parks] renewed by state leaders in the coming years.” NYRA Senior VP Bill Nader said, “Someone else could try to do it as well, but no one could do it better” (Albany TIMES UNION, 9/5).

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