07 Dec 1999 Pre-2014 Releases

1999 was a record year for Sunday racing attendances, with crowds totalling over a quarter of a million for the first time since Sunday racing began in 1995.
The number of adults who paid to attend this year’s 36 Sunday race meetings was 270,731, an increase of 9.5 per cent on the previous best in 1998. The figure has now increased for four consecutive years.
Attendances were further boosted by the estimated 60,000 children who went Sunday racing, most of them free of charge, putting the total attendance at over 330,000. The cumulative total of Sunday racegoers in the five years since 1995, including children, is now estimated at just under 1.5 million. The average adult attendance at Sunday fixtures in 1999 was 7,520, up from 6,871 the previous year. Including children, the 1999 average was an estimated 9,188.
Tote turnover on Sundays was up 10 per cent on the previous year, while off course betting via Tote Credit Club also showed improvement, rising by more than 20 per cent.
BHB Communications Director, Peter Bell, said:
“”The attendance figures for 1999 are very encouraging indeed. We have always believed that Sunday racing has the potential to attract new racegoers and especially families. We look forward to building on this success with the expanded programme of Sunday racing in the fixture list for 2000.””
Morag Gray, Racing Director of the Racecourse Association, said:
“”We hope the continuous summer programme in 2000 reinforces the success of Sunday racing and makes it easier for the betting industry and media to promote. The 1999 figures show that if racing is to increase attendance significantly, we need to place more emphasis on leisure times.””
Rob Hartnett, PR and Sponsorship Director of the Tote, said:
“”Sunday racing has always been considered as a long term strategy and betting turnover has done well this year. Initiatives such as Haydock’s securing of the Man United celebration did wonders for the image of racing, and even though our sport may not have been the crowd’s principal interest, turnover at the track very nearly doubled. Off-course, with the BBC picking up coverage, we saw turnover through telephone betting increase by 111 per cent. These figures bode very well for next year.””