With the opening of the Resorts World Casino at the Aqueduct Racetrack, another long standing tradition seems to have gone out the window.
Attendance figures are no longer tallied. You can't find the published attendance in your daily newspaper or on the Equibase Company LLC Charts.
Still staunchly old school, I look forward to my morning cup of coffee with a newspaper in hand before I even consider checking any website or twitter news feed. The sports section of the paper gets read first, including a look at the previous days track results.
But with the opening of the Resorts World Casino (or lets call it what it is-a glorified slots hall) and people (zombies?) wandering in from the slots hall there is no more accounting of actual track goers and hence no attendance figure published. You can still get an idea on who was there by looking at the On Track handle figure and backing into a number but where is the fun in that? I particularly liked checking attendance on the brutal winter days at the Big A marveling at the hearty souls who would show up to bet the ponies in person.
And going way back I remember when my local candy store in the Bronx used the last 3 digits of the attendance of the NYRA tracks for the "daily number". Most NYC "numbers" outfits would use the daily on track handle figure but the folks running this candy store numbers racket went with the attendance figure. As the mob still extends credit, unlike the NYS Lottery system, the numbers still have their loyal players- but it will have to be with the handle and not the attendance figure.