Last-ever season for Iowa Greyhound Park begins

Saturday marked the first day of the last season for the Iowa Greyhound Park in Dubuque.
Published: Apr. 16, 2022 at 9:40 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Saturday was the first day of the last season for Iowa Greyhound Park in Dubuque. .

Several people at the park opening day felt they were losing more than a place to win or lose bets. Beanie Baumover’s social life revolves around the park.

“I’ve been retired for 13 years so I’ve been coming here for 13 years.” Baumover said, “I meet a lot of people down here. You can go out to eat with them and have fun with them and bum around.”

The racing park is one of only four in the country, but in just a few weeks, that number will be down to three.

David Ungs bought his first greyhound in 1987 and has been a kennel owner at the park since 1993. He said competition with other forms of gambling entertainment was a factor in the downward trend for greyhound racing.

“We started out, you know, there wasn’t a lottery and then there was,” Ungs said. “Five racetracks came into Wisconsin. Then after that, it was the casinos and now it’s sports betting. It’s just natural.”

Brian Carpenter, the park’s general manager, said a ban on greyhound racing put in place in Florida in 2020 had ripple effects across the country.

“Once Florida closed down, was kind of the dagger in the heart of greyhound racing and people stopped breeding. So there’s going to be a shortage of dogs, which we’re already seeing now,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter said it was no longer financially feasible to keep the park open.

It’s a pastime Ungs is sad to see go.

“Times are changing,” Ungs said.

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