Talking Horses: Chester counts cost of stay-away fans at May Festival

By: Greg Wood Monday 9 May 2022

There are fears that racegoers are ‘out of the habit’ as Chester’s May Festival attendance dropped by a third

Concerns about the extent to which racing fans have “got out of the habit” of going to the track during the pandemic can only increase following the news that Chester’s prestigious May Festival from Wednesday to Friday last week attracted a total attendance of 35,000 – a 35% drop from the 53,500 who were at the course over the same three days in 2019.

Chester is – according to Guinness World Records, at least – the world’s “oldest racecourse still in operation” with a history dating back to 1539, and also one of Britain’s best-attended tracks, thanks in part to its memorable setting and layout, between the historic city’s Roman walls and the River Dee.

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