The findings of an independent consultants’ report into Greyhound Racing were revealed last week showing that the industry is under severe pressure to stay afloat and recommending the sale of a flagship track. However Newbridge is not on the list.
The Indecon report on Bord na gCon (Irish Greyhound Board) recommends selling its flagship Harold’s Cross track to stay in business.
A spokesperson with Bord na gCon Orla Strumble declined to comment on the future of the Newbridge dog track but confirmed it could not be sold as it is still in the ownership of the Cox Family.
“The Irish Greyhound Board are managing and operating from the venue. but do not own the property as it remains in the ownership of the Cox family.
“The only stadium that was mentioned as suitable for sale was Harolds Cross Greyhound Stadium. There is no mention in the Indecon report of the Newbridge Greyhound stadium.”
The report into the workings of the commerical state body, which is heavily indebted with net debt of over €21 million, was commissioned by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to look into corporate governance, doping controls and animal welfare sanctions.
It makes 71 recommendations.
In terms of turnover the report highlights the decline in receipts from the Tote as one indicator in declining profits.
In 2006 it states Tote receipts were just over €50 million. By 2013 they were €20.9 million. It also points to the reduction in attendance numbers, the scale of the decline in gate receipts and programme sales, entry fees and catering income.
The Newbridge stadium has had a turbulent few years. In January 2012, it announced a reduction in the number of race days due to a dwindling racing prize fund from the Irish Greyhound Board.
The former operators Morwell Racing Ltd pulled out last year and since then the stadium has been run by Bord na gCon. Prior to that the stadium had been run locally by the Cox family for three generations.