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Old 09-12-2022, 02:25 PM   #16
elhelmete
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They averaged over 13,000 in 2019, the last non-pandemic year, and under 9,000 this year. Yes, they were up from the trough last year, but that's still a historically terrible number for Del Mar.
Handle had no trough.
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Old 09-12-2022, 02:35 PM   #17
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They aren't pushing attendance and there are no concerts. I don't know why but they seem to like a smaller crowd
The track really loses its ambience with small crowds. Large sections (such as the infield and the area west of the grandstand) are just closed off entirely.

Contrast this with Saratoga, where NYRA does everything it can to generate attendance and gets big crowds.
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Old 09-12-2022, 02:38 PM   #18
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They aren't pushing attendance and there are no concerts. I don't know why but they seem to like a smaller crowd
I've always thought the same and have been a bit baffled myself. All I can think of is maybe they're super sensitive to operating costs and running the plant with fewer people works for them. I can attest that year over year I feel like the food and bev has steadily declined.
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Old 09-12-2022, 02:41 PM   #19
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I've always thought the same and have been a bit baffled myself. All I can think of is maybe they're super sensitive to operating costs and running the plant with fewer people works for them. I can attest that year over year I feel like the food and bev has steadily declined.
They're stuck with Premiere Foods cuz they're on State owned land. Del Mar used to be a attendance driven drunk fest but I think a lot of regulars like it with less people and less drinking/puking.
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Old 09-12-2022, 02:46 PM   #20
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They're stuck with Premiere Foods cuz they're on State owned land. Del Mar used to be a attendance driven drunk fest but I think a lot of regulars like it with less people and less drinking/puking.
Well, the drunks will always have the Running of the Outhouses in the Preakness infield to look forward to every year!
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Old 09-12-2022, 05:29 PM   #21
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They aren't pushing attendance and there are no concerts. I don't know why but they seem to like a smaller crowd
The TVG guys do. Simon commented he liked getting out of the parking lot in 5 minutes and Todd was tickled pink he could hit the Men's room and make it back to the set in commercial time.

But as a player, I could not care less about handle or attendence.
I'm not playing on track, so I have my own bathroom and don't need to drive home.
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Old 09-12-2022, 07:21 PM   #22
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I've always thought the same and have been a bit baffled myself. All I can think of is maybe they're super sensitive to operating costs and running the plant with fewer people works for them. I can attest that year over year I feel like the food and bev has steadily declined.
it was putrid to say the least, and very expensive. I can deal with expensive but not if its crap.
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Old 09-12-2022, 11:02 PM   #23
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It still would be nice if the CA tracks publicly reported their actual handle numbers, and didn't add in simucast dollars bet on other tracks both at the host track and simulcast outlets, thus double counting and inflating their numbers.
I agree and its like how Saratoga manipulated the daily attendance figures .they dont need to but they did. The fact of the matter is both tracks were highly successful even though Toga did not have zero fatalities that number came in at 10.
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Old 09-13-2022, 12:47 AM   #24
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I agree and its like how Saratoga manipulated the daily attendance figures .they dont need to but they did. The fact of the matter is both tracks were highly successful even though Toga did not have zero fatalities that number came in at 10.
In the interest of an apples to apples comparison based on the report at Del Mar being zero deaths from starters (racing deaths vs. training deaths): NYS Gaming Commission database lists Saratoga Equine Deaths-Racing with 3. Del Mar still better racing wise, but they had at least 3 training deaths. Also Del Mar is a 31-day season, NYRA Saratoga 40.
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Old 09-13-2022, 09:52 AM   #25
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They averaged over 13,000 in 2019, the last non-pandemic year, and under 9,000 this year. Yes, they were up from the trough last year, but that's still a historically terrible number for Del Mar.
I’m in such a non pandemic mode when it comes to outdoor racing I completely forgot that in CA some people are probably still reluctant to be active even outdoors. Now that I think about it, in CA some people are probably still wearing masks while home alone and diving alone.
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Old 09-13-2022, 10:50 AM   #26
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Im in such a non pandemic mode when it comes to outdoor racing I completely forgot that in CA some people are probably still reluctant to be active even outdoors. Now that I think about it, in CA some people are probably still wearing masks while home alone and diving alone.
Since everything went online for seats the people who want to go need to plan instead of going spontaneously. I won't go unless I have great seats.
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Old 09-13-2022, 11:36 AM   #27
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I only played Saratoga this year, and the last 10 years or so. The storyline has always been that while Del Mar is a nicer track to visit, Saratoga always has the best wagering. Field size can be deceiving, and not always indicative of the quality of the betting.
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Old 09-13-2022, 12:03 PM   #28
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I've always thought the same and have been a bit baffled myself. All I can think of is maybe they're super sensitive to operating costs and running the plant with fewer people works for them. I can attest that year over year I feel like the food and bev has steadily declined.
Despite being an East Coast Saratoga summer on-track player, I was on the West Coast in the San Diego area during early August. On Sunday, August 7th, I was at the Del Mar races - the adventure was documented in a trip report on this board. There were several observations that are worth making outside of the trip report.

First, the concessions are far below the quality and range that you would find at Saratoga. Now, my Sunday crowd was less than 10,000 people which might be driving a vicious cycle : less selection -> less people -> less selection -> less people and so forth. As the Southern California racing place to be, this was somewhat surprising and very different from my midweek recollections dating back 20 years when last in attendance.

Second, the in-person wagering crowd at Del Mar was much less savvy than the average summer client at Saratoga. Wagering windows were slower than any racetrack I have seen; in some ways, the variable wagering amounts (20 cent options, 50 cent options, $1 options and so forth) had me wishing for the old days with windows pegged for specific tickets at specific values. My guess is that the live handle could have seen impacts of 5% with the number of gamblers shut out at the off. In parallel, the tellers were slow in turning over transactions. At one point, I started using my NYRA Bets account to avoid the lines and aggravation.

Third, there is little attempt to teach hadicapping as the Racing Form is a separate purchase from a pocket program which includes dozens of tracks that the live audience will never watch. Del Mar needs to focus on their own product and stop with the overload of small track wagering options.

Fourth, try to find a "help me" booth anywhere at Del Mar. How do I get seats, how do I buy a box, how do I make a bet?

In closing, was I glad that I attended in person? Absolutely. However it is not nearly the same experience of Saratoga - in fact, the two are simply not comparable.
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Old 09-13-2022, 02:37 PM   #29
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Im in such a non pandemic mode when it comes to outdoor racing I completely forgot that in CA some people are probably still reluctant to be active even outdoors. Now that I think about it, in CA some people are probably still wearing masks while home alone and diving alone.
70,000 people were packed into SoFi Sunday for the Raiders-Chargers. I wouldn't overstate this issue.
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Old 09-13-2022, 04:42 PM   #30
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From what I heard Del Mar isn't pushing attendance because they want the fans that show up to have a great experience. If you pack as many people in and they don't come back you lose a customer for life. So they will take less fans coming into the place but have them keep coming back as repeat customers.
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