The Spa Spot: Handle and attendance up for opener
Important business figures showed solid gains, but the 2012 season opener at Saratoga Race Course was not without its problems for the New York Racing Association.
The good news is that attendance and handle were up.
The bad news is that NYRA had to deal with issues like toilets that didn't flush, fluctuating Wi-Fi service, and TVs and speakers that didn't work.
Attendance, on-track handle, and total handle all posted gains over 2011.
On-track attendance of 25,676 was up 2.1 percent from 25,155 last year.
On-track handle for the 10-race Saratoga card totaled $4,075,817, up 14.8 percent from $3,551,745 on opening day 2011.
Wagering downstate at the Belmont Café and Aqueduct simulcast center was $459,648, for a combined on-track handle of $4,535,465, up 14.6 percent from $3,959,128 last year.
All-sources handle, which includes wagers on Saratoga races both on-track and from simulcast outlets nationwide, was $16,690,234, up 5.2 percent from $15,871,449 in 2011.
“Our fans on track and across the country responded to a great day of racing,” NYRA President and COO Ellen McClain said in a statement.
“We appreciate their patience with opening day complications such as sporadic shutdowns of the new wireless internet service, television and public address system issues, and a drop in water pressure at approximately 3 PM. We will be working through the night to resolve all of these matters.”