Yarmouth Stadium will be welcoming (socially distanced) crowds back racing from next Monday, as well as bringing back Saturday evenings.
Promoter Simon Franklin said: “Yarmouth Council were entirely comfortable with the plan that we formulated but it also had to be approved by Norfolk County Council. I challenged them that greyhound racing was not an ‘elite sport’ according to the wording of the Government order, so we shouldn’t have to wait until early October. They agreed.
“I accept that it is a grey area, but we think we have right on our sides. There are lots of other businesses attracting crowds; the circus in Yarmouth is already open and there are plenty of people around the town.”
There are a raft of requirements including pre-booking, social distancing and mask wearing, but Franklin is convinced he can make it work.
In terms of the ARC contracted Monday and Wednesday meetings, crowds will be a bonus. But in terms of the Saturday, it will be harder to turn a profit.
Franklin said: “It will cost £3K just for prize money and then there are various booking and restaurant staff. We have quite a spacious restaurant and should be able to seat 190 of the usual capacity of 240. The tables in the bars have been spaced out, and there is also the ‘Yarmouth Bank’ outside.
“I reckon we can cater for between 550-600 people. Last year our Saturday night tote at this time of year was around £17K-£18K. If we can make £10K, then we can break even, so it is worth doing in terms of giving the dogs races and keeping the owners and trainers happy.”