Young person's game: millennials to fore in driving down age of racing crowds
Britain's racing crowds are getting younger with millennials making up almost half of attendees.
Research released by the Racecourse Association on Thursday showed those born between 1980 and 2000, who represent 21 per cent of the population, were responsible for 44 per cent of the racegoing public.
This has helped horse racing maintain an average attendee age of 45, lower than the sporting average of 47, compared to 46 when the first survey was carried out in 2015.
The research, produced in conjunction with Great British Racing (GBR) and carried out by sports marketing agency Two Circles, is based on advanced ticket purchasers.
RCA chief executive Stephen Atkin said: "This is positive news for the sport and it is encouraging that racecourses are finding ways to attract so many new people between the ages of 20 and 35 to the sport, complementing racecourse efforts to retain the support of our valued existing followers.
"Racecourses have done a huge amount in recent years to improve the raceday experience so it competes with what is available on the high street as well as other sporting and leisure venues and we are starting to see the results of the investment.
"We know millennials like to spend more money on leisure experiences than previous generations so it is great to hear that so many are choosing to go racing against all the alternative options available."
Growing a younger fan base is seen as critical to the future of racing which resulted in GBR launching the sport's biggest ever campaign aimed at children last summer.
During June, July and August a total of 2,617,046 people came racing compared to 2,596,002 in 2016.
GBR chief executive Rod Street said: "With under 18s going free to the majority of fixtures and the excellent facilities and entertainment at courses, racing has a unique offering for families and their children.
"Over the six weeks of the summer holidays there was a 1.15 per cent increase in attendance at family fixtures, triple the average growth, and demonstrating the allure of a day at the races for younger fans.
"As well as attracting a younger audience, it’s clear that racing also retains its broad appeal, with different groups of people attending for different reasons – whether their interest is from a sporting, betting or social perspective. For example, forty per cent of racing fans are female, twice the sports average."
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