Curtain falls on iconic Belle Vue greyhound stadium

Racing behind closed doors due to Covid-19 restrictions was not economically viable.
Racing behind closed doors due to Covid-19 restrictions was not economically viable.

Arena Racing Company (ARC) has announced that Manchester’s Belle Vue Greyhound Stadium is closing with immediate effect.

UK.- Racecourse operator, Arena Racing Company (ARC), has announced the permanent closure of the famous Belle Vue Stadium greyhound racing venue.

Following a consultation on the future of the 94-year-old venue, the operator says there was  “no longer a business case” to keep the stadium in operation. Around 200 staff have been laid off with immediate effect.

Racing at the venue had resumed at the start of June without crowds in attendance due to Covid-19 restrictions, but was halted again from June 10, with ARC announcing that it was uneconomical to operate fixtures behind closed doors.

ARC said the venue relied on attendance, catering and hospitality. With no clear date for when spectators will be allowed to return to sporting events, it said it had no choice but to close the stadium.

The stadium, which opened in 1926, was already expected to close in the medium-term, after Manchester City Council last December approved housing development on the site.

Mark Spincer, Director of ARC’s Racing Division, said: “The closure of Belle Vue Greyhound Stadium has been an incredibly difficult one to make, especially given the history associated with the stadium, but our consultation on options moving forward could not see a manner in which the business could support itself.

“As stated previously, the effects of the national lockdown, alongside the significant uncertainty over when, and in what manner, crowds may be able to return has had a huge impact on Belle Vue in particular, given its reliance on public attendance.

“We will continue to provide welfare support payments to the remaining Belle Vue trainers, not currently racing at other stadia, until the end of September, and assist with any homing requirements during that time.

“It goes without saying that we are very grateful to all of the staff at Belle Vue and everyone associated with the site for their hard work and loyalty over the years and throughout this process.”

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