Limerick Greyhound Stadium will change from Friday to Thursday evening racing from this week (22 July) as part of a new broadcasting deal agreed between the Irish Greyhound Board and Sports Information Services.
This new agreement will see live racing from Limerick broadcast to thousands of retail betting shops in the UK and Spain. The deal was struck late last week and also includes live racing from the Cork tracks, Curraheen Park and Youghal. The new agreement is in line with the IGB’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022 which focuses on securing international business and investing in new technology. The agreement will improve the financial sustainability of the tracks while also delivering a local increase in prize money for greyhound owners and trainers.
Limerick Racing Manager Liam Kennedy welcomed the change, commenting "Thursday is the new Friday night for us. In that sense, the weekend begins earlier but we will still have our Saturday night racing. It’s a positive for the stadium and greyhound owners have reacted very positively. This agreement with SIS - a leading supplier to the online and retail betting markets - demonstrates the demand that exists for Irish greyhound racing internationally. Ireland produces some of the world’s best greyhounds thanks to the quality of the bloodstock and Irish greyhound racing can become a global sporting product."
Restaurant packages have also been reviewed with Thursday night dinner starting at €19.95 per person and €27.95 per person on Saturdays. Austin Noonan of the Limerick and Clare Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association commented "We fully support this change. The SIS deal will deliver better prize money for local greyhound owners and it’s very exciting to think that our live racing will be watched worldwide. We have a good pool of greyhounds and we offer some very competitive racing."
A report by economist Jim Power, The Economic and Financial Significance of the Irish Greyhound Industry calculates there are 5,058 full and part-time jobs within the sector with a further 7,313 greyhound owners deriving economic benefit. The national industry contributes €300 million in additional economic activity with PAYE/PRSI contributions of €12.7 million per annum. Of the 16 stadia within Ireland, 15 are located outside Dublin which the report states, highlights the contribution to rural communities in additional jobs and spending.
Paul Written Product Director at SIS said: “We are delighted to add the two new additional tracks to our current Irish offering and welcome both Cork and Limerick to our greyhound service.”
Irish Greyhound stadia will now broadcast seven meetings through SIS per week from Youghal Mullingar, Tralee, Limerick and Curraheen Park (Cork).