Shelbourne Park greyhound track returns to profit

Facility is owned by Bord na gCon, the sport’s governing body

Shelbourne Park hosted 200 meetings in 2018.

Shelbourne Park hosted 200 meetings in 2018.

 

The country’s premier greyhound racing track, Shelbourne Park, returned to profit last year following the resumption of a full schedule of race meetings.

The latest annual accounts show Shelbourne Greyhound Stadium, which is owned by the sport’s governing body, Bord na gCon, recorded a profit of €315,469 in 2018, reversing a loss of €115,476 posted the previous year.

The figures represent a turnaround in business at Shelbourne Park last year after it was badly affected by a 22-week closure in 2017 as a result of protests by some greyhound owners and supporters opposing the decision by Bord na gCon to sell the greyhound track in Harold’s Cross.

Income

The Ringsend stadium, which is now the only greyhound track in Dublin following the closure of the Harold’s Cross stadium in February 2017, hosted 200 meetings last year – an annual increase of 85.

Total turnover at Shelbourne Park in 2018 was up 39 per cent to €1.9 million including almost €1 million in gate receipts.

The second biggest source of income was the concession fee of €512,343 it received from Abargrove, another subsidiary of Bord na gCon which operates catering facilities at greyhound stadiums around the country, while car park fees generated almost €281,000 in income.

Total prize money paid out last year was just over €2 million - up from €1.37 million in 2017.

The majority of prize money – approximately 84 per cent – was funded by Bord na gCon with the remainder coming from entry fees and sponsorship.

Tote turnover at Shelbourne Park in 2018 was over €4.7 million which generated a profit of €664,150.

In its latest accounts, Shelbourne Greyhound Stadium said it and Bord na gCon were facing a number of risks and uncertainties due to declining attendances and participation in the sport.

Trends

The company said they were “in line with international trends which may have implications for ongoing profitability”.

However, the company said it and the sport’s parent body were taking several steps to maintain the profitability of all operations at the stadium.

Last week, Shelbourne Greyhound Stadium secured a temporary High Court injunction to prevent protests from being held within 50 metres of the entrance to the track.

The venue has been the subject of regular protests over recent months by animal rights supporters following the broadcast of a controversial RTÉ Prime Time Investigates programme into the Irish greyhound industry.

The company claims greyhound racing patrons are being intimidated and harassed by protesters.