Sunday racing sales trending in the right direction — CTL CEO
CAYMANAS Track Limited (CTL) has increased the number of Sunday racemeets this year to 12 due to the encouraging signs of those offered last year.
That was the stated view of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cedric Stewart, during the Jamaica Observer Sports Club forum at the company's Beechwood Avenue headquarters yesterday.
Stewart, who was accompanied by Racing Secretary Denzil Miller Jnr; David Hobson, head of marketing; and Kathryn Clark, promotions manager, argued that since introducing Sunday racing it has brought more successes than Wednesday racemeets, and sales are trending in the right direction, even though not quite yet where the company wants it to be.
"In terms of contributing to the bottom line in helping us as a company, it is working. We have had four Sunday meets last year and they were profitable, even when the lightning struck, the first four races were of record sales compared to Wednesdays. Sunday racing is far more profitable and we are getting enough here. Wednesday racedays were never ever profitable," Stewart said.
"The thing about the Sunday racing is that we started out by offering simulcast racing on Sunday in August, and it worked. Now we incorporate local racing on Sunday and the crowd support was tremendous, and it is growing."
The CEO added: "Sunday racing is drawing more attention to the Park than on a Wednesday. On the last two Sundays, the gate sale of tickets (attendance) was higher than on a regular Saturday raceday.
"This year we will offer 81 racedays out of which 12 will be on a Sunday."
The first such meet for this year will be offered this Sunday.
However, Stewart, who has been at the helm of the promoting company since last April, was quick to note that the betting handle on a Sunday has not yet risen to the required level, but that he was nevertheless pleased with what the races have offered.
"The betting on Sunday races is not quite what we want it to be as yet, but it is relatively new. However, we are encouraged by what has happened so far."
Denzil Miller, CTL's racing secretary, also supported the fact that Sunday racing generated more profit than Wednesdays.
"The last Sunday race meet, the sales were $26 million, of which $7 million was from simulcast racing, so you see that is more than what we make on a mid-week racecard," he said.