The New York Racing Association reported a 10% increase in paid opening weekend attendance this year over last year, from 94,078 in 2021 to 103,254 in 2022, according to the Daily Gazette. NYRA announced the all-source handle for the opening weekend for the 2022 season totaled $106,401,827, an 18.1% increase from last year’s opening weekend all-source handle of $90,112,255. The first day of the 2022 meet was last Thursday, July 14.
The Gazette also visited Caroline Street, where the crowd scene has been tumultuous in past months resulting in the temporary closing of a popular bar. On Friday night, the vibe was lively and upbeat, with a good mix of ages walking from bar to bar. Still, everyone from bouncers to locals to bartenders said the crowd on Caroline Street was lighter Friday than it has been during the track’s opening weekend in prior years. For instance, the line on Putnam Street outside Gaffney’s never even stretched to Caroline Street. James Mitchell, who has been working security at The Misfit for a decade and a half, described the scene Friday night as “calm” and “slow.”