by Raymond Whelan
Lone Star Park officials indicated they already have sold about 34,000 tickets for the 2004 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
It's a new record for advance sales for the Breeders' Cup, according to a recent report in the Dallas Business Journal
. And, Lone Star officials said they expect to sell 15,000 more tickets long before Oct. 30, when the racetrack near Dallas will host the first-ever Breeders' Cup in Texas.
Breeders' Cup tickets cost $25 to $125, and they are available only through an advance application, a random drawing, and payment by June 4.
Economic experts predict the Breeders' Cup could generate nearly $52 million in economic activity throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. And they believe roughly 60% of the crowd will be Texas residents.
Ironically, an online survey of 1,335 Texans last December showed three out of five interviewees were aware of the Breeders' Cup, but only one out of 10 respondents knew their state would host the Breeders' Cup this year.
"The good news was that once our survey group was made aware that we would be hosting the Breeders' Cup, half of them expressed strong interest in attending," said G.W. Hail, Lone Star vice president of sales and marketing. "That prompted the implementation of an aggressive marketing campaign that has been the major factor in setting the record pre-race sales."