Iowa Greyhound Park to open for final season on Saturday
DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - This weekend will mark the start of the final season for the Iowa Greyhound Park in Dubuque. The park is one of only four greyhound racing parks in the country.
As he prepared to open the park one final time, Brian Carpenter, the park’s general manager, said it was a “bittersweet feeling.”
”Everybody is excited about another season of live greyhound racing starting, but, obviously, we are all a little disappointed this being the last year,” he mentioned.
Carpenter, who has worked at the Iowa Greyhound Park for 37 years, said the closure follows a trend of other greyhound parks shutting down across the country. That trend started when Florida banned greyhound racing in 2020.
”They (Florida) were the focus for so many tracks down there that everybody can breed, be able to send dogs to different places, but when they closed down, several breeders stopped breeding, so now it has kind of become a shortage,” he explained.
And with fewer dogs, Carpenter said it is not financially feasible to keep the park, which currently employs 56 people, running. Today only three states have active tracks, and all but West Virginia are phasing them out.
”We have definitely brought a lot of tourism into the town from outside of the state,” he added. “Something different. Not too many other facilities have something like greyhound racing.”
The shortened 2022 season will begin on Saturday, March 16 and will run through Sunday, May 15. It will also mark the first time in years where the park will host races on Easter Day.
For this final season, Carpenter said they are expecting to see old friends and even new fans come in for a last goodbye.
”We are getting a lot of phone calls from old employees, old players, everything else wanting to come back one last time and we are hoping to see a lot of big crowds this year for the whole month,” he commented.
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