‘It will take racecourses a long time to recover’: Arena Racing Company chief Martin Cruddace fears for future of racing venues across the country
- Martin Cruddace fears for future of racing venues following coronavirus crisis
- Racing returned in the UK on Monday afternoon at Newcastle Racecourse
- Cruddace, chief of the biggest racecourse company in Britain, is concerned
- He admits the shutdown due to pandemic could not have come at a worse time
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
The chief executive of the biggest racecourse company in Britain admits he fears for the future of racing venues across the country.
Martin Cruddace, who heads Arena Racing Company which owns or operates 16 racecourses, said he is planning for there being no fans in attendance at all this year — which he fears could kill off some tracks.
Brighton and Worcester already have been mothballed until September.
Martin Cruddace, who heads Arena Racing Company, is planing for no fans at all this year
Cruddace said: ‘It could be we narrow even further the tracks we race over this year.
‘When you also have declining media rights because 2,500 betting shops have closed, you have to wonder if a racetrack has a future.
‘I hope there won’t be casualties but I do fear for some racecourses.
The first race at Newcastle on Monday took place with the backdrop of empty grandstands
‘We have assumed no attendance income to the end of the year. If I was really optimistic I’d say the beginning of September for reduced crowds.
‘The shutdown couldn’t have happened at a worse time. When we get to spring and summer, we are an attendance income-led business.
‘Tens and tens of millions of pounds have been lost in attendance income. It will take racecourses a long time to recover.’