Racecourse attendance reaches record heights

The Racecourse Association announced today a dramatic increase in the number of racegoers in the first six months of 2015 – to 2,987,103. This has built on the current record figures of 2011 to bring racing to an ever-wider audience.

This year has seen a rise of 10% compared to attendance from 2014, and even higher than the biggest year so far, 2011. This feat is made even more impressive considering there were 4% fewer fixtures than in 2011 – and now an average of 4,184 attendees per fixture. This comes as little surprise, with recent studies by VisitEngland and Deloitte describing racing as the ‘best value day out’ in the UK. Soaring temperatures in the first half of 2015 also lend themselves to a great day outdoors, and where better to soak up the action than at one of the leading racecourses at the heart of the racing world?

Stephen Atkin, Chief Executive of the RCA, said:

‘We are delighted to see such a strong performance in terms of attendances so far for this year.  There are, of course, a number of factors that impact on racecourse attendances, and it is pleasing to see that they seem to have come together in the first half of this year.

‘Whilst factors beyond our control, mainly the weather, play a significant role in achieving these numbers, the racecourse and central sales and marketing teams, supported by the national promotion of the sport by Great British Racing, must be congratulated on their hard work to capitalise on the opportunities that are offered to sell our sport.

‘Evidence would suggest that hospitality sales at racecourses are increasing along with general economic growth of the country, and we have seen a series of record attendances at our major meetings in the first half of 2015.  However, across the board, racing offers not just one of the best value days out in sport, but also an assurance of quality across Britain’s racecourses as evidenced through the RCA’s work with VisitEngland and Deloitte.’

Rod Street, Chief Executive of Great British Racing, the central marketing and promotions body of British racing said, ‘These are great figures for racing and demonstrate the broad appeal of our sport. Racing has something for everyone, whether it’s the horses, the competition on track, the social scene or the betting opportunities, and it is great to see it perform so well in a competitive leisure market.’

So what do you think has boosted attendance figures this year? The thrill of the track, the competitive climate, the social setting, or did more punters simply fancy a flutter?


Did you know…?

4 out of the top 10 sporting events for attendance figures in the UK are horse racing fixtures? 

These top events are: Royal Ascot (3) Cheltenham Festival (6), Epsom Derby (9) and Aintree Grand National (10)