Fonner Park To Seek Approval For Additional 12 Days In May

Fonner Park and the Hall County Livestock Improvement Association announced their intentions to conduct a second season of racing in 2020 that would commence on Monday, May 4, and extend until Sunday, May 31.

After a recommendation to cease racing and a decision to conduct no-spectator racing, on March 23, Fonner Park shifted from weekend racing to a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday format to create separation from the more popular racetracks.

“While no spectator racing continues to be conducted at Fonner Park under COVID-19 precaution and prevention guidelines, the continuation of racing is still very much a day-to-day prospect,” said Fonner Park CEO Chris Kotulak. “The ability to continue racing with minimal national and global wagering opportunities has cast a brilliant light on Fonner Park. There has been a chunk of mutuel handle on the Fonner Park races, but money bet out-of-state only represents a chink of revenue compared to money bet on-track.”

Since March 23, the all-sources mutuel handle on Fonner Park has risen to a daily average of $2,836,904, excluding the $7.2 million day on April 7 when there was a $4.1 million final pool on a mandatory payout day of the popular Dinsdale Late Pick 5 Jackpot wager.

“Fonner Park operates on a wickedly narrow profit margin,” said Kotulak. “What might seem like a successful spell of handle one week might only equate to survival or even a deficit another week. We cannot be swooned by sexy handles this year when we have to consider purse money for 2021 and the hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenses and repairs we face annually.

“Another important financial factor is that once other tracks return with their racing, the mutuel handle on Fonner Park will drop,” said Kotulak. “My goal is not to  simply make hay this year. I have a responsibility to Fonner Park, the horsemen and the city of Grand Island, Neb., to remain viable for many years to come.”

Approval for an additional 12 days of racing in May must be obtained from the Nebraska State Racing Commission. There is a meeting scheduled for April 22, 2020.

The post Fonner Park To Seek Approval For Additional 12 Days In May appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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