Iowa Greyhound Park to close after shortened 2022 racing season

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 9:00 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa Greyhound Park has been a huge part of Brian Carpenter’s life.

”I started when I was 16, got married, raised five kids over the years,” he mentioned.

Carpenter started at the bottom and worked his way to become general manager. That part of his life, though, will come to a close soon when the park closes next year with a shortened season. He said a decision made in Florida to end greyhound racing was the nail in the coffin for the park.

”We are a seasonal track and our dogs during the winter would go down to Florida,” he explained. “It is kind of the heartbeat of greyhound racing, and once they closed, as I tell people, that is kind of the dagger in the heart of greyhound racing.”

Carpenter said that decision heavily diminished greyhound breeding and with way less dogs, it is not financially feasible to keep the park running.

”A lot of the patrons knew the end was coming,” he mentioned. “I have done everything I could possibly think of and it is just to that point where there is nothing more you can do.”

Rick Dickinson, president and CEO of the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, said, for the last decade, there has been a push to eliminate the subsidy of greyhound racing in Iowa because of its pricey cost.

”The Dubuque Racing Association (DRA), for example, provided a million dollars a year for seven years for greyhound racing to go away because it costs more than that to subsidize the purse, the prizes that were awarded to the greyhounds that won the race,” he explained.

Dickinson said there were not enough people to bet on the prizes. He added, though, the city has potential plans for what could happen to that spot in Schmitt Island.

”It could be outside entertainment venues, it could be green space,” he mentioned. “We really do not know a certainty; there are a number of plans that are on the books.”

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