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Race fans address concerns at question and answer forum
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- It's putting the power back in the hands, of the fans. Sunday dozens of them came to address their racing concerns in a question and answer forum. It's all in an effort to help fill seats, because recently, there have been more empty ones.
"As everyone knows the fan base has been dwindling in racing nation wide, and this is an important attempt to revitalize racing and get more fans back in the game," says Todd Hoover, Racing Secretary at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway.
"Years and years and years ago, there used to be 5000 people here on a friday or saturday night, if there's a thousand I'd be surprised if there was even that many," said Dave Coon, a long-time race fan.
Fans addressed numerous concerns, ranging everywhere from the treatment of animals to cell phone use.
"One of the fans already said they just come in a put their two dollars down and help feed the horses but when they have a suggestion or complaint it just sort of goes into thin air," Hoover says.
But not anymore, those concerns were noted by the the New York State Racing Fan Advisory Council, and we're told they will then pass them along to the gaming commission.
It's all in an effort to help improve the sport, and make it more appealing to younger generations.
One fan we spoke with thinks they're moving at too slow of a pace.
"I think the time should be shortened between races because i don't think people need that much time to wager and i think now a days to draw younger people we need to have faster turn over. Younger people don't want to wait 20 minutes to make another bet they'd rather have quick action."
The council is working to prepare an annual report on the operation of the state's thoroughbred and harness racetracks and the state's off-track betting corporations.