SBD/November 5, 2012/Events and Attractions

Wagering, Attendance At Breeders' Cup Down Compared To '11 Event

The Breeders’ Cup posted a total attendance of 89,742 over the two-day event held Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif, with a total handle of $144.3M. That compares to an attendance of 105,820 in '11, when the two-day event was held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., a larger facility. Last year, the total handle bet on-track and off-track was $161.5M. Total wagering on the Breeders’ Cup 12-race card on Saturday was $96.7M, down from the '11 Saturday handle of $105.5M at Churchill. The on-track crowd was down from '09, the last time the event was held at Santa Anita Park, when 96,496 attended the two-day event. But attendance was boosted in '09 by the presence of Zenyatta, an undefeated female racehorse who was popular with the general public and ran in and won that year's Breeders’ Cup Classic. However, attendance was up from '08, when 86,588 attended the event at Santa Anita, prior to Zenyatta gaining national mainstream media attention (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal). DAILY RACING FORM's Matt Hegarty noted betting at the "start of the day was strong -- stronger, in fact, than betting last year -- but by the time the day’s last race, the Classic, had rolled around for its first prime-time appearance, wagering had fallen off." Betting on the Classic "was down" approximately $3.6M, from $28.1M last year to $24.5M this year, a drop of 12.1%. Breeders’ Cup officials had "expected wagering to fall this year because of the power outages and transportation problems still plaguing many areas of the Northeast, especially in the major markets of New York and New Jersey." It is "likely that a nearly 10 percent drop was within their expectations" (DRF.com, 11/3).

YEAR
TRACK
ATTENDANCE
HANDLE
2012
Santa Anita Park
89,742
$144,272,332
2011
Churchill Downs
105,820
$161,512,867
2010
Churchill Downs
114,353
$173,857,697
2009
Santa Anita Park
96,496
$153,271,176
2008
Santa Anita Park
86,588
$155,740,328

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