After an initial first week that had some folks out on social media questioning the first weeks relatively low Saratoga attendance, things have sprung back to normal this past weekend.
This Saturday's Jim Dandy card had an attendance of 25,375 and Handle of $15,999,087 beating last year's Jim Dandy Day attendance and handle figures of 24,548 and $13,164,684.
Sunday's T-Shirt Spinner #'s were 50,727 in attendance compared to last years first Sunday Spinner Day of 47,132. Total Handle this past Sunday was 10,809,456 beating last years figure of 10,047,879.
The first week figures were down due to one reason-the oppressive heat. Weather will and always has been a huge factor in Saratoga Attendance #'s, particularly affecting the local and day tripper attendees decision on whether or not to show up at the track.This week was beautiful and the numbers jumped back up.
It amazes me each year how the Debbie Downer's of the world will jump on low attendance figures as an indication of something wrong with racing, the Spa, etc. instead of looking at the # 1 factor-weather. More and more people are getting use to the ease and convenience of betting year round via a betting account linked too a smart phone, tablet or desktop. Only the best meets with the best weather days will bring the folks out (as well as the corny Sunday Spinner Giveaways).
Opening weekend was particularly affected as we were basically in the 3rd week of a sustained heat wave and I really believe people were so frustrated of going out in this heat. But now the heat as broken and all is back to normal at the Spa.