Fans Get Chance to Offer Views at Santa Anita

Fans who attend the races at Santa Anita Park can now have their thoughts and ideas, as well as complaints and suggestions, heard by members of the racetrack's management team thanks to a new "Fan's Feedback Forum" held every Sunday at noon in the track's East Paddock Gardens immediately following handicapping seminars.

Hosted by track vice president and general manager Chris McCarron, the first two meetings attracted a large crowd of nearly 100 patrons on each day, many of whom voiced their concerns regarding issues such as handicapped parking, presentation of pools and will-pays on television monitors, issues regarding the XpressBet wagering service, expanded coverage for the large Hispanic community, and even the television volume levels for simulcast racing.

"This is the only way we can really get a handle on what the patrons are thinking," said Michael Ziegler, the track's assistant general manager and vice president of administration. "(Management personnel) walk through the facility every day, but it's hard to get the kind of feedback we need because most of the people here don't know who we are.

"This way we can address their concerns and do as much as we can to respond, as well as concentrate on ways to improve the overall experience of coming to Santa Anita. We truly value what the patrons have to say. Just since our first meeting we've already made several changes brought to our attention by the fans."

Ziegler said the forums would continue throughout the racing season, which ends April 18.