I read with interest the article by Ray Paulick detailing the fact that the New York Racing Association (NYRA) is INCREASING admission fees at Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. While some people may think that an increase from $3 to $5 and Clubhouse admission from $5 to $8 as nominal. The fact is that if a family were to go this increase becomes something to consider. Additionally if someone goes repeatedly, it makes one rethink whether to attend the track in person or wager from the comfort of their couch where they don’t have to spend this money in addition to the monies being wagered. As a result I have 10 questions that Chris Kay will probably never answer but should be asked.
1. When Belmont Park has attendance figures that are in the single thousands for a facility that holds much more, why would any admission make sense much less one that increased?
2. How does NYRA support the idea that increasing fees to the fan will increase handle?
3. Why would someone bring a prospective fan to the track with or without an admission fee?
4. How are you educating the new fan in order to get them vested in the game?
5. What is happening with all the millions in handle and why is that money not enough run the operations?
These are questions that we as fans and horsemen should have answered. Right now Aqueduct offers and will continue to offer free admission, however given the track side experience there; they should be paying us to go there! Sadly it appears that NY racing is once again turning its back on the fans.