For the fourth consecutive year, Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota posted significant increases in on-track attendance and handle for 60-day meet.
For the 2000 live meet, attendance averaged 3,877 race fans, an increase of 3.71 percent over the previous year. Live-on track wagering of $261,224 represented an increase of 5.26 percent over 1999. Attendance totaled 232,604, an increase of 11.12 percent, when compared to the 56-day 1999 meet. The jump in attendance and increased field sizes resulted in an increase in total live-on track wagering of 12.78 percent over the figure for 1999. Total handle from all sources of $38,484,073 represented an increase of 4.53% despite a drop in out-of-state handle of 5.0% attributed to the loss of the Illinois market simulcasting on weekends.
Canterbury Park president Randy Sampson attributed much of the success of the live meet to the continued success of the Canterbury Card Club, which opened in April of 2000. Card Club revenues contributed to two purse increases of 10 percent each, with total purses of approximately $6.4 million for the meet representing an increase of 26.6% over 1999. Average daily purse distribution was $106,000, compared to $90,000 in 1999, an increase of 17.7%.
The increased purses led to significant increases in the number of horses on the Canterbury Park grounds, with the average field for Thoroughbred races in 2000 at 8.61 starters, up 6.6 percent over 1999.
"We are extremely pleased with the 2000 live meet and looking forward to even better racing in 2001," Sampson said. "The on-track attendance and handle increases were a reflection of our improved quality of racing and larger field sizes. With a full year of card club operations and the increased purse percentage from the card club, we expect to see another significant purse increase for 2001 and continued improvement in the quality of our live race meet."