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Scottish Tracks Want More Fixtures

Tuesday, 17th July 2007

Scotland's racecourses "are calling for an increase in their allocation of fixtures following the release of figures that indicate their attendances are growing at a time when some tracks elsewhere in Britain are finding it hard to fill their grandstands," reported racingpost.co.uk. Average daily attendance at the 5 Scottish venues (Ayr, Hamilton, Kelso, Musselburgh & Perth) has increased by 5% during the initial 6 months of 2007 (compared with the corresponding period in 2006) & "overall racecourse attendance in Scotland has shown sustained growth since the millennium": total attendance in 2006 was 46% higher than in 2000 & the average crowd figure in 2007 is 26% higher than in 2000. This season has already featured: a record crowd on Perth Gold Cup day; a sell-out at Musselburgh for its Ladies' Day; the largest crowd at Hamilton Park for 15 years on Saints & Sinners Day; & the largest crowd at Ayr for 5 years on Scottish Grand National Day. Scottish Racing's commercial manager Jonathan Garratt noted: "The sustained growth in attendance at Scottish tracks demonstrates the latent demand for racing here. Scotland is home to 9% of the British population & nearly 9% of British racecourses, yet we stage only 7% of the fixture list. There is significant demand for more fixtures, especially on racegoer-friendly days, in Scotland. I appreciate that Scotland may be bucking the trend here & it may not be the same in other parts of the country, but the popularity of racing, both as a sport & as a social event, has never been higher in Scotland & I am convinced there is more growth to come."

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