By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
Later this month, Hanover Raceway expects approval to alter their start time, moving from the traditional 7:15 pm post time for the first race to a 2 pm start for the 2020 season.
As the Race Board sees it, there are many benefits to be had by making the switch.
First, Hanover Raceway is a family oriented operation with lots of space for youngsters to roam. It's a fair observation to say that a large portion of the youngsters are gone by Race 5 on race nights, simply because it's bed time; so a much earlier start could equate to longer stays for families with young children.
Second, let's not forget the overwhelming demographic at Hanover Raceway is " Senior ". I've worked there for more than 15 years and I'm still not among the oldest at the track.
It's my observation that on Saturday nights, you don't need a watch to know when it's 9:30 pm, because there's a massive exodus of bodies heading home, and generally, there's still 3 to 4 races to be staged
Finally, the Race Board believes Saturday afternoon Racing will give Hanover a greater spotlight, maybe a solo spotlight, and mean less competition for the betting public. On Saturday nights, there's Mohawk and Georgian and who knows how many other betting options for those who like to wager. Saturday afternoon, potentially, would make Hanover the only game in town.
Futhermore, an afternoon race card will not conflict with any number of summer oriented events and festivals that previuosly have forced the public to choose between one activity or the other on a Saturday night, for example a Saturday afternoon race program followed by the Sights N Sounds dance in Hanover sounds like a very good combination.
Under the proposal, the lone exception to the altered start time would be the track's signature " Dream of Glory " Night which would commence at 6:15 pm and conclude with the annual Fireworks Extravaganza later in the evening.
There are some possible drawbacks to the proposal as I see it; those who regularly work Saturdays may be absent, plus I'm certain there will be a drop in alcohol sales, a financial drop that won't be bridged by excessive soda and candy sales.
But the Race Board sees the alteration as a " win-win " scenario and the expectation is that formal approval for the post time shift will be approved long before Christmas.
I'm Fred Wallace