Qatar Goodwood Festival aims to buck the trend and avoid dip in ticket sales

Bosses believe Goodwood can avoid the squeeze on ticket sales other racecourses are suffering.

Monday, 22nd July 2019, 3:11 pm
Updated Monday, 29th July 2019, 5:16 pm
Goodwood racecourse manager Alex Eade. Picture: Kate Shemilt

At present they reckon they are on course to attract the usual number of 100,000 racegoers to the Qatar Goodwood Festival, which begins on Tuesday, July 30.

And that would see them avoid the dip suffered in some quarters.

‘Ticket sales have been okay,’ said racecourse manager Alex Eade.

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‘The industry is struggling. Royal Ascot saw a dip, they were down about six per cent.

‘But we’re just about holding okay. We’re about flat year-on-year.

‘Lots of racecourses have seen similar.

‘We’re not seeing that as yet and there is also a trend for sales coming in later.

‘Right now, though, we’re in a good place.

‘Last year our festival week crowd was about two per cent down on the previous year.

‘That was partly down we think to people remembering the previous year, when it was really wet.

‘So the hope is this year people will remember the fantastic sunshine we had last year and will come back.’

Meanwhile clerk of the course Ed Arkell is doing a rain dance.

He added: ‘We’re grateful it’s not as warm as it was this time last year.

‘We had a lot of rain in the early part of June, so we came into this dry spell in a better position than last year.

‘Ideally we’d love 15mm to 20mm of rain between now and the festival.

‘It looks unlikely we’re going to get that but the team are doing well and the track’s looking well.’