New York Racing Association attendance and handle figures suffered drops in 2005 as compared to the previous year.On-track handle on NYRA races only declined 4.4% from a daily average of $1,341,620 in 2004 to $1,282,331 last year. Total handle on NYRA races declined 4.2% from a daily average of $10,875,566 in 2004 to $10,414,102 last year.The average starters per race declined 4.9% from 8.15 in 2004 to 7.75 last year. NYRA tracks accounted for 2,317 races last year, down from 2,327 in 2004.
"This was a year when we made an integrity-driven decision to terminate simulcast relationships with many rebate sites, which had accounted for nearly 10 percent of our handle," said Bill Nader, NYRA senior vice president. "It is rewarding to see that NYRA's high quality of racing was able to sustain handle levels that are really quite impressive. To once again average over $10 million in daily handle over a 254-day season is a remarkable achievement for our racing program. It is interesting to note that the declines in handle mirrored that of field size."On-track attendance declined 6.2% from a daily average of 8,216 in 2004 to 7,703 last year. Total on-track attendance was 1,956,555 last year, down from 2,095,156 in 2004. There were 254 race dates, one less than 2004.