Turf Paradise Cancels Horse Racing Season Due To Pandemic

Turf Paradise recently announced it has canceled the 2020-21 horse racing season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the announcement on Thursday, the Phoenix track cited COVID-19 safety guidelines, such as restrictions on large crowds and social distancing requirements, made it impossible to operate “a financially practical race meet.”

The track, which opened in 1956, located near 19th Avenue and Bell Road turned down the Arizona Racing Commission’s proposed 121-day meet from November to May, which would have started the season a month later than normal.

“Health concerns and economic realities have left us with no choice but to cancel the meet,” track general manager Vince Francia said in a press release.

Approximately 1,000 employees work around the stables, the track said.

Turf Paradise also cited the current restrictions on bars, in which many host off-track betting, means the public health concerns will have a negative impact on off-site revenues as well.  Fewer customers means less money for the track.

Special events at the track generally draw about 6,000 people, officials said.


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