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Oaklawn says 2012 attendance up by 20,000

By The Associated Press

This article was published April 17, 2012 at 7:11 a.m.

Spectators pack into the stands during Saturday afternoon’s racing at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs. A total of 63,804 fans attended the season’s final day of live racing.

— Oaklawn Park says its attendance was up by more than 20,000 this racing season, thanks to a mild winter that allowed the track to run all its scheduled races.

Last year, cold weather and snowy conditions forced the track to lose several days during its live racing season, which runs from January to April. General Manager Eric Jackson tells The Sentinel-Record that more than 592,000 people visited the track during its 56-day season this year. That’s compared with nearly 571,000 visitors during the 49-day meet last year.

Officials say the visitors also spent more money gambling at Oaklawn. Jackson says they’re still compiling specific figures but that he expects the track’s gaming operations to be up by double digits this year.

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