Philadelphia Park to Uncle Frank? Handle is Sure to Zoom

A jolt of energy for Parx?
John Pricci broke some news yesterday - Philly Park is supposedly under consideration to be purchased by Frank Stronach.

This purchase, if it goes through, would likely inject some energy into the mid-Atlantic region of tracks, and create a circuit, which should increase field size and improve racing quality. In addition, Parx under the Stronach umbrella would likely complete revamp the betting menu, moving takeout to reasonable levels.

That should, in my view, massively increase handle. We have some history to go by.

When Gulfstream took over the Calder meet, handle soared (for the apples to apples 40 day meet) from $58 million to $142 million. This was achieved through consolidation of the circuit, changes to the betting menu and using the GP brand to re-brand Calder. It is also pertinent to note, this was done with Calder not even having a grandstand.

Philadelphia Park (OK, Parx, I can't help myself), has some serious revenues. About $500 million dollars are earned through their slot machines per year, resulting in massive purses for the Keystone State flagship track. This has not translated to higher handle.

I would predict that if Frank ends up owning and managing the track, we'd see a consolidation of racedates, and if the betting menu is revamped, a doubling of average daily handle within a year.

What we've seen lately in racing is a consolidation of dates, and fewer races put on just for the sake of putting on races. This, if passed, is simply another spoke in the industry maturation wheel.


ICYMI, more racing handle, the changing business, and customer appreciation ideas were discussed at the TDN, in an Op/Ed.


Ron said...

Extremely bad news for medium sized bettors who get rebates betting Philly. 75% of their rebate will disappear overnight.

Fred Mertz said...

A reefer smoking chimpanzee could increase handle at Parx if that was the goal. Frank and his gang might be able to do it as well.


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