Arena reports fall in attendances

The UK’s biggest horseracing operator today warned this year’s profits would take a fall as hard-pressed punters stay away from the track.

Arena Leisure – whose seven venues include courses at Wolverhampton, Worcester and Doncaster – said like-for-like attendances between July and mid-October were down on last year as the economic slowdown bites.

With those who do come spending less – and sales of corporate hospitality packages falling steeply – profits will be “significantly below” market hopes.

Its Doncaster track boasts the St Leger, the oldest of the UK’s classic races, but the attendance over the four-day festival in September was down by 7,000 to 59,000.

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