Attendance at greyhound tracks continuing to plummet in 2020
May 7, 2020 —
Attendance at greyhound tracks around Ireland has continued to plummet in 2020 and the decline is predicted to "CONTINUE OR ACCELERATE", a new report has revealed.
The Indecon report, commissioned by the Irish Greyhound Board and published today, shows that more and more people are staying away from greyhound tracks and that the "greyhound industry is likely to experience a continued decline in attendance levels".
"The greyhound racing industry in Ireland has witnessed a significant decline in attendance over the last decade," the report outlines. "While 1.1 million attended races in 2008, this fell by 55% to just over 0.5 million by 2018."
It adds that "2019 has also shown a further negative impact which is likely to exacerbate the pre-existing long-term decline" and that the latest attendance figures for January and February of this year "show that this decline has continued".
The figures for 2020 reveal a major drop in attendance compared to the same period last year.
In January, attendance fell 30% from 24,073 to 16,841 - a drop of 7,232.
In February, the drop was even larger, with attendances a total of 8,682 less compared to February 2019. (from 31,354 to 22,672)
A breakdown of the figures shows that the Irish Greyhound Board's Dublin track, Shelbourne Park, sustained a massive 36% drop in attendance in January - down by 2,168 to 3,752, compared to the same month last year. Attendance continued to fall at Shelbourne Park in February - compared to February 2019, it was down by 41% (3,730) to 5,240.
The track had seen twice-weekly protests since the broadcast of the "RTE Investigates: Greyhounds Running for Their Lives" documentary which lead to nationwide boycotts of greyhound racing and several companies and tourist firms disassociating from it. The shocking RTE documentary uncovered the horrors of greyhound racing, including the annual killing of 6,000 greyhounds not fast enough to win races. The programme featured disturbing video footage of greyhounds being delivered to a knackery to be shot in the head and dumped in a skip.
The IGB's tracks outside Dublin saw an 18.9% drop in attendance in January and a 23.5% drop in February. Attendance at privately-owned tracks plunged 43% in January and 20% in February.
Meanwhile, the average number of people attending races fell, compared to last year. There were average falls of 27% (from 251 to 183) and 26% (from 282 to 208) in January and February respectively. At Shelbourne Park, it was down from 740 to 469 in January and from 641 to 437 in February.
Also down for both months was the number of races, race meetings and runners as well as the income from food/drinks sales and tote operations. February also saw a fall in income from SIS media rights.
In its report, Indecon notes that "the sector would NOT be financially sustainable if the decline in attendance continues and if the existing cost base is not reduced". It also notes that the losses incurred have only been sustainable because of ongoing support from the state. Highlighted in the report were grants of €1,400,000 for both January and February - part of the €16.8 million of taxpayers' money shamefully handed over by the government to prop up greyhound racing in 2020.
Watch the "Greyhounds Running For Their Lives" documentary on the RTE Player https://www.rte.ie/player/movie/rt%C3%A9-investigates-greyhounds-running-for-their-lives/104051751967 or on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYTb2qBjlMM
Say NO to cruel greyhound racing - don't attend races or fundraisers/hen parties/office parties at greyhound tracks.
STOP THE STATE FUNDING FOR GREYHOUND RACING
Another €16.8 million of scarce public funds has been approved for greyhound racing for 2020. Since 2001, greyhound racing has received more than a quarter of a billion euros of taxpayers' money. A RED C opinion poll commissioned by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports found that a two-thirds majority want an end to state grants to greyhound racing. Please contact your local TDs and demand that they vote against this funding. Visit the Oireachtas website for contact details for TDs https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/members/tds/?term=/ie/oireachtas/house/dail/33
Urge the leaders of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour (who back the grants every year) to stop the funding.
Leader, Fine Gael
Telephone: 01-619 4020
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Tweet to: http://www.twitter.com/@LeoVaradkar
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeoVaradkar
Leader, Fianna Fail
Phone: 021-432 0088
Leinster House: 01–618 3000
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Alan Kelly TD
Leader, Labour Party
Tel: 067 34190
TELL SPONSORS TO STOP THEIR SPONSORSHIP.
Boycott businesses which continue to support cruel greyhound racing.
Please get in contact with Glanbia and ask it to permanently end all sponsorship/support of greyhound racing and hare coursing.
Telephone: +353 (0)56-777 2200
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Tweet to: @GlanbiaPlc
Appeal to the Kerry Group (the company behind Pure sunflower/soya spread, Dairygold, LowLow, etc) to stop sponsoring greyhound racing.
Phone: +353 (0)66 718 2000
Prince’s Street, Tralee, Co. Kerry
Email VIA: https://www.kerrygroup.com/help/contact-form/
Please sign and share petitions
Stop supporting the cruel greyhound industry
GAA: Stop club fundraisers at greyhound tracks
Tell Gain Pet Nutrition to Stop Sponsoring Greyhound Racing
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