Turf Paradise shuts down season early over coronavirus concerns
PHOENIX – Turf Paradise has shut down its live horse racing season until the fall because of coronavirus concerns, track officials said.
The track announced the closure Saturday. The season had been scheduled to end May 3.
“Horse racing involves large numbers of people who must compete and work in close proximity to each other. It would be irresponsible to put them at risk of getting the coronavirus,” track general manager Vince Francia said in a press release.
About 1,000 people work near the stables, according to a press release.
Live racing will resume mid-October; the Clubhouse and off-track betting sites will remain open for simulcasting.
Track officials emphasized there have been no documented cases of coronavirus at Turf Paradise.
Special events at the track at 19th Avenue and Bell Road generally draw about 6,000 people, officials said.
The sports world has been hit hard by the COVID outbreak.
The National Basketball Association and National Hockey League recently suspended their seasons. Major League Baseball shut down spring training and delayed the start of the regular season by at least two weeks. Opening day had been set for March 26.
The NCAA canceled college basketball’s biggest event, the Division I men’s tournament, and the PGA has postponed the sport’s iconic Masters Tournament.
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