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Study shows Turf Paradise makes Arizona a big winner

(Facebook/Turf Paradise)

PHOENIX — A new study says that horse racing at the Turf Paradise race track in Phoenix brings big bucks to Arizona.

The study done by the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, found that Turf Paradise generates $91 million in annual economic impact to Arizona.

The track’s general manager, Vincent Francia, said the track provides about 1,040 jobs for its seven-and-a-half month season.

“That would include veterinarians, grooms, venders that are selling things to the horsemen, people whose employment is predicated on our race meet being up and running,” Francia said.

He added that the recent construction and renovation at Turf Paradise contributed $1.5 million to Arizona’s economy, while the track paid $2.5 million in taxes in 2015. The study said that every dollar injected into the racing industry pumped $2 into Arizona’s economy.

Francia said that feeding over 1,600 horses at Turf Paradise helps Arizona’s agriculture industry.

“The horses eat alfalfa, hay and oats,” said Francia. “The alfalfa primarily comes from agriculturalists here in Arizona. That amounts to an $18 million dollar impact to the state.”

Some 290,000 race fans came to the track in 2015, making Turf Paradise one of the top sports attractions attendance-wise in Arizona.

“You have the Arizona Diamondbacks at number one, and then the Cactus League’s combined attendance, and Turf Paradise is number three in sports attendance in the state,” said Francia.

Another 525,000 fans watched and bet on races at Turf Paradise from the 65 Off Track Betting sites located throughout the state in 2015.

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