Live wagering and attendance at the Meadowlands Racetrack show significant growth in the track’s first month of racing under private management.
The Meadowlands’ January live handle showed a 24 percent increase over the previous year, despite six less races contested over the same 11-date period in 2011. A total of $3.2 million was bet in the building on live racing vs. $2.6 million in 2011. A month-high of $510, 475 wagered on the 13-race, January 28 card propelled the Meadowlands to its first $3 million handle of the season ($3,089,435).
Total on-track wagering for live and simulcast races was up nine percent over January 2011, with $18.7 million wagered despite fewer live and simulcast races and an additional day of closure due to football at the neighboring stadium.
Attendance for live racing was up nearly 18 percent, from 21,966 to 25,866, over the previous year. January on-track promotions included a calendar giveaway and free Pick 6 wager opening weekend, a World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifier on January 28 and weekly specials such as free admission, program and poker tournaments on Fridays. New dining room menus, pricing and Happy Hour specials were also introduced in January.
“The improved racing style, marketing initiatives and fair weather have all played a part in our on-track growth,” said General Manager Mike Newlin. “We will look to keep this momentum going as we strive to provide an engaging on-track experience for our regular customers and newcomers.”
Additional advertising dollars were also allocated to announcing the opening of the 2012 harness meet. More than $70,000 was spent on cable television commercials; outdoor billboards in high-profile locations (including the Lincoln Tunnel, Newark Airport) and local traffic routes; Metro Traffic radio spots; print advertisements in major daily and weekly newspapers; and online on major regional news sites and Facebook.
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