Public health regulations require smaller crowds, but excitement rose as Red Shores Summerside started its live harness racing season on Victoria Day. This event marks the second season running under the pandemic restrictions set.
The manager of racing and broadcast for Red Shores, Lee Drake, stated it’s great to be opening.
“I think it’s a day of excitement, we’re thankful.”
“There’s nothing like going to the track.”
Drake stated Red Shores Summerside is working under the set gathering rules and the facility is running at an estimated 50 per cent capacity.
He claimed Red Shores feels lucky considering most of Canada is barred from hosting outdoor activities.
Drake stated accessing track nowadays needs more planning. On the commencing day, outdoor spectators were restricted to two pods of 50 people; therefore, you typically need to reserve ahead of time if you need a spot
Drake noted they were trying to persuade people to come to the track in 2020, but now, they have recalibrated their business framework to motivate fans to watch the live streams and make wagers online.
“With COVID-19, our business model did shift and we’ve been working with our TV broadcast side of the business.”
The manager noted they have put in hard work in increasing who can see the races from Red Shores, improving their presentation, and betting models.
“You’ve got to try and stand out.”
He stated the main interest in Red Shores’s harness racing has been satisfactory.
Drake said although COVID-19 signified fewer in-person bets, overall wagering was high by 15 per cent in Red Shores, which has spots in Charlottetown and Summerside.
“It’s phenomenal when you think we’re in a pandemic.”
The 2021 track marks 135 years of racing this, Drake stated, and there are special plans underway.
“It’s one of the oldest running racetracks.”
“It’s going to be an exciting summer.”
Drake claimed he’s hoping for lax protocols if safety permits. Preferably, he stated they’re anticipating another Atlantic bubble and larger crowds to be permitted around June.