Horseracing’s popularity amongst fans shows no signs of faltering as attendances eclipsed six million for only the third time. Figures released by the Racecourse Association showed attendances up for a third year running as the figure hit 6.1million in 2011, an increase of 6.6%. In addition, average daily attendances increased 1% and it reflects the hard work individual courses have been doing.
“I am very pleased to see racecourse attendance on the up for a third year in a row and to break the previous record is fantastic,” Stephen Atkin, the chief executive of the Racecourse Association, said.
Courses working hard on marketing and the new Qipco series had a huge effect on the gains seen, and Atkin added: “Financially it is a very difficult time for people at the moment, so it is a vindication of the exemplary work being done on Britain’s racecourses that more and more people are enjoying a day out at the races.
One of the sport’s success stories was the inaugural British Champions Day that took place at Ascot in October. The race day attracted 26,000 spectators and represented almost twice the amount that attended the event the Ascot one replaced – the Champions Stakes card at Newmarket.
The news will be a boost to the sports betting industry that has horse racing at its heart. It might not hold the luster of other sports but the “Sport of Kings” is still a very important one for the gambling industry. Now if only there was a solution like this to the levy debate and everything would be sorted!