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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Fort Erie On-track Handle

Fort Erie has recently run their final Twilight Tuesday card of the year. Twilight Tuesdays, 4:15 post time, were an experiment started two or three years ago that have proven quite successful in growing handle.

     A couple of months ago I read somewhere, either on Twitter or a forum or something, an idea from someone. If I recall correctly it was @Cangamble. He suggested that since Fort Erie is a smaller town with lots of shift workers, the crowd and live handle on a twilight Tuesday would be about the same as a Sunday, so perhaps moving Sunday cards to a different weekday would be a smart move. I don't necessarily disagree, but I got curious about the on-track handle numbers. With the twilight Tuesdays finished, here are the results.

Tuesday
1-$92,126, 8 races
2-$39,792, 8 races
3-$46,775, 8 races
4-$35,883, 8 races
5-$40,299, 8 races
6-$58,291, 8 races
7-$40,109, 8 races
8-$66,549, 9 races
9-$55,742, 8 races
10-$263,006, 9 races*PrinceOfWales
11-$63,363, 9 races
12-$62,119, 9 races
13-$75,485, 8 races

Total-$939,539, 108 races - PoW included
Total-$676,533, 99 races - PoW not included

$72,272.23/day, $8,699.43/race - PoW included
$56,377.75/day, $6,833.66/race - PoW not included


Sunday
1-$70,401, 8 races
2-$45,698, 8 races
3-$105,075, 8 races
4-$65,564, 8 races
5-$62,106, 8 races
6-$77,728, 9 races
7-$41,687, 8 races
8-$55,284, 8 races
9-$55,088, 8 races
10-$68,559, 9 races
11-$60,469, 8 races
12-$75,220, 10 races
13-$60,058, 9 races
14-$89,804, 9 races

Total-$932,741, 118 races

$66,624.35/day, $7,904.58/race


    When we take the Prince of Wales out of the Tuesday handle, as that is an event day that draws the largest crowd of the year by far, we see that Sunday cards are driving an average of $1,070.92 per race. With 118 races, at a theoretical 20% rake, that's an extra $25,273.71 in revenue.

     The questions that must be asked is if Sunday racing was replaced with another weekday, a) would off-track handle necessarily be similar to that of a Tuesday, and b) how much would on-track revenue decrease? Twilight Tuesdays usually handle something in the $600,000-$850,000 range, while Sundays do about $300,000-$500,000. If another weekday could consistently match a Tuesday, you would have to think switching away from Sunday would be worthwhile. However, if the second weekday did not perform as well, say an average of $500,000, the switch may not be smart.

    In my opinion this is a tough puzzle to figure out. I'm curious to see if Fort Erie tries something different with their schedule in years to come.

    Have a good day.

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