Low attendance and shrinking revenue have spelled the end for horse racing in Stockton which has been a part of the San Joaquin County Fair in Stockton for over 150 years. Now the California Authority of Racing Fairs wants to stage its September racing dates elsewhere.
Over the last couple of years especially, horse racing has been a losing proposition for the San Joaquin Fairgrounds which was required to have separate dates for the fair and for the races.
According to Fairgrounds CEO Kelly Olds, staging them separately hurt both.
Olds says, “People who attended the horse races paid general admission entry into the fair so that it added some revenue to the fair so in those days with the long runs and everything, more people attended the fair and more people attended the horse races.”
Olds says the fair once had 11 days of racing, but in recent years both the fair and the racing were cut in half because of dwindling crowds and dwindling revenue.
Olds says the county fair will return this June after being discontinued for the last 2 years.