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Author Topic: Does this concern anyone else?  (Read 1323 times)
pjcleve
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« on: February 15, 2006, 11:29:09 PM »

Is daily live racing attendance a thing of the past?

Wednesday 2/15:

GP Clear 69 degrees, attendance 5,320.
SA Clear 68 degrees, attendance 3,746.
AQU Clear 43 degrees, attendance 2,022.

Maybe I'm wrong, but weekday attendance at these "top class" tracks never seemed to be so low so consistently when weather wasn't a factor.

Pete
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2006, 10:12:41 AM »

Is daily live racing attendance a thing of the past?

Wednesday 2/15:

GP Clear 69 degrees, attendance 5,320.
SA Clear 68 degrees, attendance 3,746.
AQU Clear 43 degrees, attendance 2,022.

Maybe I'm wrong, but weekday attendance at these "top class" tracks never seemed to be so low so consistently when weather wasn't a factor.

It gets back to what I said about the big tracks being obsolete. Frank Stronach knows it, too, that's why he built such a tiny facility at Gulfstream. The future is tracks as simulcast production facilities, generally propped up by slots, a few "destinations" like Oaklawn, Del Mar, etc., and one or twice a year a big crowd showing up for big days. Otherwise, everyone is staying home from every track to bet on the computer. Why drive an hour or two to the track to bet a ho hum card of nameless horses?
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big wally
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2006, 11:20:36 AM »

Face it, racing fans are not needed anymore. The tracks want slots, that it. A statement by the racings " racing is just a cost of doing business". What CT says is true there really is no reason to go the track anymore. As seniors become more computer savvy in the coming years the numbers you posted will look good in 5-10 years. These big tracks are dinosaurs
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2006, 11:36:28 AM »

I think wally meant to write "a statement by the racinos".  Wink

Besides the drive to the track, there's other issues. Rebates and computer aided betting, for instance. Bettors aren't stupid, they know they compete with computer whales in the pools. They need the same sort of tools their competition has. If you're at the track you don't have the nice rebate to prop up your bottom line, you don't have your computer plugged into the Internet to help you with your wagering decisions, and there's a chance no TV is even tuned to the track you want to play. In addition, you probably had to pay for your pp's instead of betting then free from BRISnet, you may or may not have paid admission, and you're paying a lot for concessions. If someone is serious about making money from wagering, or is a "student of the game" type casual player, and doesn't care about paddock inspection, they're better off at home.

OTOH, if a nice day in the sun, getting up close with horses, or schmoozing with friends is your goal, then the track is the place to be.
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BeauNarro
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2006, 11:53:36 AM »

Yup, you all are correct: riverboats, land casinos, online wagering sites, lotteries all are taking away from the host tracks. Not to mention the cost of gasoline. More people that used to go to the tracks are staying home because it's so much cheaper to bet the races on the computer.
You can sit there in yer pj's or scivvy's if you want while you makes yer bets. You don't have to be concerned about some bum that smells like yesterdays garbage sitting next to you. Or about yer programs,food, drinks or personal items being stolen when you run to the window or SAM machine.
By the time you park your car, pay admission, buy a program..you already shell out $10 to $25 depending on which track you are going to. And again throw in gasoline to drive there, vehicle maintenance, auto insurance, etc.
The locals tracks here in Illinois can do alot more to attract old and new customers, but it seems like they just don't care about it anymore. All they need to do is ask the patrons...LOL...we will be more than happy to tell them what is lacking or needs to be done to get the numbers back in an upward direction again.
I would much prefer the live excitement and seeing all my friends at the track, but not if that track is going to make it uncomfortable for me to be there.
BTW - when I went to post this - I was alerted that another person had just posted. Terry, it seems that we were on the same plane of thought...LOL
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2006, 12:56:16 PM »

I would much prefer the live excitement and seeing all my friends at the track, but not if that track is going to make it uncomfortable for me to be there.

I don't think they make it uncomfortable. I'm always comfortable at either one of our local tracks. It's just that betting for betting's sake is easier, cheaper, and more monetarily rewarding from home (or a simulcast center somewhere, for that matter). You'd like to think that beautiful, trendy, intelligent people go to the track attracted by the grandeur, the majesty, the pageant, blah blah. Truth is, when tracks and horsemen are putting on five month meets and ten month seasons of mediocre daily product, intended solely to attract betting for the sake of betting, to run themselves a little money machine, well, it isn't too surprising that people attracted to betting for the sake of betting is their primary customer base. All of a sudden those customers have some choice in the matter of where they can bet, poof!, empty tracks. There's a reason meets like Keeneland, Saratoga, Del Mar, and Oaklawn are special: they're short. Anywhere else, "I can always go next week".

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big wally
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2006, 01:12:17 PM »

The reasons I go live:

1. To get out my house and get away from wife and kids for an afternoon.
2. To spend the afternoon with by Dad and Brother.

Other than that the tracks can do what they want. Why should I Go? I could bet from home. If they want me to come for the sake of racing, let me watch a quality product.
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clockerbob
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2006, 01:21:19 PM »

the cost of gas, admission and time etc. Adds up to a free $ 20 daily double if you bet at home!
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nwaryas
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2006, 01:34:32 PM »

Arlington Park wants to up there admission to $10 over the next three years. That will keep people away.
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Dan Nance
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2006, 01:59:51 PM »

Yup, you all are correct: riverboats, land casinos, online wagering sites, lotteries all are taking away from the host tracks. Not to mention the cost of gasoline. More people that used to go to the tracks are staying home because it's so much cheaper to bet the races on the computer.
You can sit there in yer pj's or scivvy's if you want while you makes yer bets. You don't have to be concerned about some bum that smells like yesterdays garbage sitting next to you. Or about yer programs,food, drinks or personal items being stolen when you run to the window or SAM machine.
By the time you park your car, pay admission, buy a program..you already shell out $10 to $25 depending on which track you are going to. And again throw in gasoline to drive there, vehicle maintenance, auto insurance, etc.
The locals tracks here in Illinois can do alot more to attract old and new customers, but it seems like they just don't care about it anymore. All they need to do is ask the patrons...LOL...we will be more than happy to tell them what is lacking or needs to be done to get the numbers back in an upward direction again.
I would much prefer the live excitement and seeing all my friends at the track, but not if that track is going to make it uncomfortable for me to be there.
BTW - when I went to post this - I was alerted that another person had just posted. Terry, it seems that we were on the same plane of thought...LOL

Everything you said is true and that's why in the years to come  " IT WILL BE A DEAD GAME LADDIE "
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David
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2006, 05:29:38 AM »

I won't argue the point that from a pure gambling aspect, you are better off gambling on racing  at home,the advantages are covered above.

But what I do wonder is why are the Sportsbooks in Vegas packed - with people betting on games? Why are thier tables packed and machines spinning non stop at just about any casino in the country? Why is every poker room in the country packed? You can do all  of those better on line as well (to a less extent the on line slots or table games - as thier are some trust issues involved at this early point of thier development). You can get better odds and check out a dozen books lines within a couple minutes on line - don't have to drive over town looking for the best line or anything. Partypoker or similar offer a couple hundred games at every level instead of whatever your local poker room is playing at the time.

Similar arguement in a non-gambling vein would be why would any one go Christmas shopping or whatever, it is easier and cheaper to do that on line as well, but the malls are still packed

My guess as to the answer to my own question would be that people appreciate the experience, the event of going to the casino or whatever, they like to feel like a big shot, have the house buy them a couple drinks, b.s with the fellow gamblers, have a good time, feel appreciated by the casino, the buzz of the place the energy etc. If the tracks can capture some of the same experience - there isn't any reason they cannot continue on.
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big wally
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2006, 07:02:55 AM »

I won't argue the point that from a pure gambling aspect, you are better off gambling on racing at home,the advantages are covered above.

But what I do wonder is why are the Sportsbooks in Vegas packed - with people betting on games? Why are their tables packed and machines spinning non stop at just about any casino in the country? Why is every poker room in the country packed? You can do all of those better on line as well (to a less extent the on line slots or table games - as their are some trust issues involved at this early point of their development). You can get better odds and check out a dozen books lines within a couple minutes on line - don't have to drive over town looking for the best line or anything. Partypoker or similar offer a couple hundred games at every level instead of whatever your local poker room is playing at the time.

Similar argument in a non-gambling vein would be why would any one go Christmas shopping or whatever, it is easier and cheaper to do that on line as well, but the malls are still packed

My guess as to the answer to my own question would be that people appreciate the experience, the event of going to the casino or whatever, they like to feel like a big shot, have the house buy them a couple drinks, b.s with the fellow gamblers, have a good time, feel appreciated by the casino, the buzz of the place the energy etc. If the tracks can capture some of the same experience - there isn't any reason they cannot continue on.



Sportsbooks are crowded the same reason Sports bars are crowed her in Chicago. Big TV's,cheap food and drink, come on you cant compare Vegas to a race track. There is no comparasion between Football's popularity and racing. The people at the sportsbooks are tourist, I would think most of the locals have accounts with different casinos and can either check them on line or call. I am not a Poker Player but I understand it is clearly a game where you are playing the other player rather than the cards. Their physical appearance could give them away.

Race tracks are in a box. They cant compete with all the give aways , free drinks etc.. What you have on this board are true Horseplayer's and our answer is it is easier to bet at home.

If your a track owner, what do you do? Spend millions of dollars up grading your facility, better rebates, free food and drink, promotional giveaways?
« Last Edit: February 17, 2006, 07:19:55 AM by big wally » Report to moderator   Logged
Horse Voice
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2006, 09:39:10 AM »

Most days that I go to Hawthorne, I'm not there specifically for the live racing. I usually like a race or two on their live card, and sometimes more, but I'd go anyway even if I didn't like a single Hawthorne race. What they haven't solved with home wagering is two things:

* ease of wagering 
 
* ability to monitor multiple tracks (multiple video signals)

Phone wagering is too cumbersome to me, and (dread) I just know I'll get a busy signal or no answer on my best wager of the day.

Even if the 'net service offers multiple video signals, it's time-consuming to keep switching back and forth; at the track (or race book, if I'm in LV), I can just glance around at the numerous TV's.

So when it comes to simulcasting -- for me, anyway -- it's all about price. Hawthorne's 2% rebate is the local winner; in LV, The Orleans comp rate works out to about a 3% rebate.

To answer the main question of the thread: nope, I'm not concerned a bit...racing will need to evolve, or die. Pretty simple. And if it dies, it won't be by my hand; I'm simply playing the cards I've been dealt. I've been pounding hundreds of thousands of dollars through the windows for 15 years -- if they aren't making any money on me with the current racing model, they're already dead.

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