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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Meadowlands Racing Menu Changes and a New Attitude

I had a previous chat with Mike Newlin, the General Manager of the Meadowlands, and he indicated after the first couple of weeks of racing, there would be some changes to the betting menu.  Well, the changes are here:
  • The dollar Superfectas have been eliminated.  A couple more dime Superfectas will be added, but not on races that start the 'Pick' wagers.  While the dime Supers are back they will need to be wheeled or boxed with a minimum total wager of $.20.  More about this later.
  • As for the Pick 3s, last year, the rolling Pick 3s had the least amount of wagering interest, that is why they were all but eliminated (only the last three races).  However, customers want Pick 3s so a few more Pick 3s will be offered.  Hopefully, with fewer Pick 3s, they will be better supported.

Some people noticed the Superfecta had been raised to a 20% takeout but it is still one of the lowest rates around for the wager.  What they did not notice is at the same time the Pick 3 was reduced to a 20% takeout. (corrected)

While the $1 Superfecta is history, it should be noted while everyone noticed the $1 Superfecta pools were less than half of the dime Superfecta pools, it came at the expense of the Exacta and Trifecta pools which were diluted without increasing the total handle.  That's right, the dime Superfecta was not adding to the total handle, just money shifted away from other pools.  This shows what happens when there are too many wagers in a single race, you just cannibalize the pools and reduce the churn.  That is why not all the $1 Superfectas are going to be replaced with dime Supers; only a few.  

Earlier today I mentioned some of the changes at the track, I neglected to mention that in the dining room, there is no longer a table minimum or a seating charge so if you elect to dine at the track, you won't feel obligated to order a certain amount of food to hit the minimum and the money you spend can now be spent on dinner itself, not just the privilege of sitting there.  I plan to get to the track soon so I can report back on how low the food prices have gone in addition to the quality and variety as well as have a pleasant evening at the track.

This past weekend in Harness Racing Update, there was some conversation about how little advertising was done for the Meadowlands meet this year thus far.   Mike Newlin, the General Manager at the Meadowlands was kind enough to tell me what kind of advertising was done to promote the opening of the meet.  Here is the list of advertising thus far for the first two weeks of racing:

  • Television commercials on all of the area cable networks
  • Radio spots
  • Online banner ads
  • Print advertising in the larger New Jersey newspapers, The Star Ledger and The Record as well as local community papers.
  • Ten billboards taken out on all of the major highways near the Meadowlands including Route 17, Route 80 and the New Jersey Turnpike as well as a giant digital board on Route 495 going towards the Lincoln Tunnel to benefit those people who work in New Jersey and live in New York.
Compared to what I have seen in the past, this is a gigantic increase in promotion.  From what I recall, in the past few years, advertising other than for the Hambletonian was non-existent or minimal; certainly not this level of commitment.

There is certainly a new attitude at the Meadowlands and it is refreshing when compared to the past  moribound feeling.  If you live in the area, there is no reason why you shouldn't go for a night at the track and see how much has changed.  I can tell you about all the changes, but the best way to is for you to experience it yourself.


Anonymous said...

The dime superfectas required a one dollar minimum total wager according to the ADW's

Pacingguy said...

I'm only reporting on what I was told. Perhaps the ADWs have instituted such a minimum?

Using a NJBET account, I was able to bet $.10 on a 1-2,1-2,3,4 ticket for a total cost of $.20