There was once a time when Greyhound racing was second only to football in terms of spectators. Going to the dogs sky-rocketed in popularity following the First World War and as a result over 200 racetracks were scattered up and down the country.
Tens of thousands would attend meetings on a daily basis, while 92,000 spectators crammed into White City Stadium for the 1939 edition of the English Greyhound Derby. London itself boasted around 25 tracks, including some of the most iconic in the country.
However, now there are just 19 active Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) recognised venues in the United Kingdom (18 in England and one in Scotland), including just two in London.
So, as you scour the internet for Betdaq greyhound tips, let’s take look back at some of the most iconic greyhound stadiums in the UK. Read on to find out more!
White City Stadium (London)
Where better to start than with White City Stadium in London? As we have already mentioned, over 90,000 people attended the west London venue for the 1939 renewal of the English Greyhound Derby. However, the stadium, which was originally built for the 1908 Olympic Games, is where greyhound racing in the UK began. The first meeting took place at White City in June 1927 and it was the home of the Derby, The Grand National, The Oaks, the Wood Lane Stakes, the Longcross Cup and the Cambridgeshire for many a year. With the stadium set to be demolished in 1985, the last Derby was hosted here in 1984 and was won by Whisper Wishes.
Wimbledon Stadium (London)
Wimbledon Stadium held its first Greyhound meeting in May 1928 and it quickly became one of the best and most up-to-date venues in the country. It was the first track to introduce scales so racegoers could know the dogs’ weights, whilst new races, including the Puppy Derby, International, Wimbledon Gold Cup and the Wimbledon Spring Stakes were introduced. The track survived bomb damage in World War II and later became the home of the Derby, hosting the prestigious race from 1985 to 2016. Wimbledon Stadium was closed in March 2017 and demolished 12 months later.
Belle Vue Stadium (Manchester)
Belle Vue Stadium in Manchester was the host to the first greyhound race around an oval track in the UK. Mistley was the winner of the 440-yard race in July 1926, scooping the grand prize pot of £10. Some 50 years later, the greyhound had a stand named in its honour. After the First World War, around 70,000 people were going to meetings at Belle Vue a week and its success can be linked with the mass building of tracks around the country. The stadium has hosted several major races such as the Northern Flat, the Laurels, the Oaks and the Gold Collar. Due to financial difficulties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, it was announced last year that the stadium would not be reopening and demolition work started recently.