Doncaster Voices: How important is town's racecourse to economy?

Welcome to your Doncaster Voices forum. If you want to get involved, submit 150 words, name, title & photo to [email protected] and your views may appear next week when the subject is 'How can we improve Doncaster area's cultural entertainment?'

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 22nd February 2018, 9:35 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd February 2018, 9:40 am
Date:12th September 2013.
The Ladbrokes St Leger Festival at Doncaster Racecourse, DFS Ladies Day. Pictured Crowds attending the meeting.
Date:12th September 2013. The Ladbrokes St Leger Festival at Doncaster Racecourse, DFS Ladies Day. Pictured Crowds attending the meeting.


Doncaster Racecourse contributes massively to the hospitality industry in the Doncaster area. As a hotel booker, I frequently book hotels for clients attending the races. The race dates are an opportunity for local Doncaster hotels to increase their revenue, both for accommodation and food and beverages. This increase in hotel stays has a positive impact throughout the South Yorkshire area as the increase in clients in Doncaster fills other hotels in the surrounding areas. This effect is not just on race dates, but also when there are events such as the recent Doncaster Racecourse Business Showcase. Another bonus of the presence of Doncaster Racecourse is the international prestige it gives to Doncaster as one of the UK’s premier racecourses with the oldest classic race in the world.


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Does the racecourse help our local economy? You bet it does. The course offers something for everyone from the ever favourite family enclosure to the fourth floor private boxes with all the trimmings. Thousands attend various meting throughout the year all spending and enjoying Doncaster hospitality in our bars and restaurants. Prestige meetings are available, the Doncaster Cup (one of the oldest in the world) forms part of the triple crown along with Goodwood and Ascot. And of course our very well loved St Leger, that’s been around since 1776,visit the Red Lion for even more history. The race goer gets great value from Donny and Donny gets a tremendous economic boost from their presence, I

would estimate the benefit to Doncaster to be well into the millions and that’s not to be ignored. I long for the Race week of yesteryear it was carnival time in my lovely Donny.


As one of Doncaster’s most iconic venues, with a busy and varied programme of events taking place throughout the year, it is well known that that the racecourse plays an integral part in the town’s economy – and we’d expect that part to increase as we continue to invest in our facilities and expand our offering. “The opening of the new Hilton Garden Inn Doncaster Racecourse this summer will undoubtedly attract investment in the area, creating new jobs and bringing new visitors to Doncaster from across the UK and further afield. “The hotel will also build further on our ability to host major conferences and events, putting Doncaster on the map as a key destination for both leisure and corporate travellers alike. “We’re proud of our position as a key player in the Doncaster economy and we’re looking forward to continuing to do the town proud as we continue to grow.”


The racecourse, a staple place in Doncaster, is most certainly is important the economy. The venue holds many concerts throughout the year that bring in people from all over Yorkshire and the country. The fairground, which is often at the racecourse, is a great place for families and kids to go on a day out. Then, of course, there is the actual horse racing in September. Leger day is always an exciting day in Doncaster. My family enjoy dressing up for the occasion, making bets and, of course, having the odd few drinks. I must admit I don’t like the event much, as I find horse racing cruel, but the atmosphere of the event and the energy it brings to Doncaster is fantastic. It would be good if there were more events that were outside the realm of music and equestrian sport such as arts fairs and local history.


Ever since the first official course was marked out in 1614, horseracing has been an integral part of Doncaster’s heritage and local economy. In fact our town holds a unique and prestigious place in the ‘Sport of Kings’, an association which helps to shape our identity.

Today Doncaster remains one of the most important centres of horseracing in the world, as home to the famous racecourse, Goffs UK and the Northern Racing College.

At the heart of this is of course the St Leger, a race which changed the face of horseracing forever. The world’s oldest Classic is part of a 36 race day programme, which sees over 225,000 people attend every year.

The venue also hosts many events and exhibitions, bringing thousands more people to Doncaster supporting local businesses. With the new Hilton hotel opening in the summer, the racecourse will move up another level.

In 2012 British horseracing had a total economic impact of £3.45bn and tourism plays an increasingly important part of our economy. For these reasons alone horseracing, and Doncaster racecourse, are extremely important to our town.


Doncaster Racecourse is vital to the hotel and restaurant community in Doncaster. The sheer volume of people that it attracts cannot be substituted by any other event or business in the area. The added events after racing encourage people to stay in the Doncaster are for longer periods than they have before. The nature of horse racing encourages guests to eat and drink before, during and after the racing.

Conferences and events during the year and outside of race days attract a different clientele to the area which most often require accommodation and food & drink.

Doncaster Racecourse is the focal point for Doncaster and the Sheffield City Region, encouraging it’s growth and supporting its business model is advantageous to the wider business community.

* If you want to get involved, submit 150 words, name, title & photo to [email protected] and your views may appear next week when the subject is “How can we improve Doncaster area’s cultural entertainment?”