Consultants to examine sustainability of 16 Irish dog tracks

A team of economic consultants has been appointed by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) to examine the financial sustainability of its 16 licenced stadiums around the country.

Indecon Economic Consultants have been tasked with undertaking a comprehensive strategic review into the future needs and viability of the tracks by the IGB.

A final report is expected later this year.

Indecon will assess the infrastructure, services available and standard of facilities at all 16 venues — that’s Shelbourne Park, Curraheen Park in Cork, Youghal, Limerick, Tralee, Galway, Mullingar, Waterford, Newbridge, Longford, Kilkenny, Clonmel, Thurles, Dundalk, Enniscorthy, and Lifford.

It will examine the future sustainability of each individual track, looking at population catchments and access arrangements.

It will assess racing schedules, competing sporting facilities in the catchment area and offer recommendations regarding the appropriate industry footprint for the future, including detailed recommendations regarding individual stadia.

Indecon’s Dr Ronnie O’Toole explained: “The review will be tasked with making recommendations for the future of the Irish greyhound industry as a whole.”

The CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board, Gerard Dollard, added: “Stadia will be assessed on an individual and collective basis in several different areas, including finance, population catchment, and other competing sporting facilities near each stadium.”

He explained: “The greyhound industry, like lots of other industries, has had to change and adapt in a number of different ways in recent years. This review, which is a big step forward in the implementation of the IGB’s five-year strategic plan, will progress the industry’s footprint for the future. Stakeholders within the industry will also be consulted within this independent review.”

The board currently has licenced a total of 16 tracks in the Republic, of which 10 are fully owned and/or controlled by the board. The remainder are privately owned and operated. Its recently published strategic plan from 2018-2022 proposed a capital development programme totalling €12m.

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