Greyhound Derby stadiums – through the ages
The English Greyhound Derby is the most prestigious race on the British greyhound calendar. The high point of the sport in England, the race has been around since 1927. Having been around for nearly a century, it’s proven to be a highly competitive event, with only four greyhounds having ever won it twice.
The first race took place in 1927, at White City Stadium. The stadium, located in the northern part of Shepherd’s Bush, London, was built for the 1908 Olympics. It had a capacity of 68,000 and cost £60,000. It hosted many historic events, including the finish of the first modern marathon.
The stadium was put up for sale in the 1920s, and bought by the Greyhound Racing Association (GRA). With greyhound racing looking for a home in the UK, White City Stadium was a natural fit. The GRA took over the stadium in 1927, and from then onwards its primary purpose was greyhound racing and speedway.
Greyhound races became weekly events, and White City Stadium became the premier greyhound track in the country, with attendances stretching to a record of 92,000. The 1940 Greyhound Derby saw the first round held in White City Stadium, before moving to Harringay Stadium, due to the start of the Second World War.
The event wasn’t held again until 1945, when it returned to White City Stadium. It continued to run there until 1984, when the stadium closed, and the area was redeveloped. The event moved to Wimbledon Stadium.
Wimbledon Stadium was as historic as White City, having been built in 1928, and it was an easy choice for the new home of the Greyhound Derby. Wimbledon Stadium hosted the race for the next three decades, the last race running in 2016. The stadium site was redeveloped for housing, and the race moved outside of London for the first time.
The race moved to Towcester Racecourse in 2017. The racecourse had a greyhound racing track built inside it, and the track hosted the 2017 and 2018 Greyhound Derbies. However, Towcester racecourse entered into administration in 2018, and the Derby had to find a new venue.
Although the future of the English Greyhound Derby was briefly up in the air, it found a new home. A relief to racing fans, who enjoy placing a greyhound bet on Betdaq, the race moved to Nottingham Greyhound Stadium.
The stadium is much newer than some of the race’s other homes, having been constructed in the 1980s. The stadium was voted ‘Central Region Racecourse of the Year’ on more than one occasion, and thus it made a fitting home for the race.
The 2019 event went ahead successfully in the summer, to the delight of racing fans. The 2020 event was scheduled for May 2020, but it was postponed to October after the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thankfully, for those who follow Betdaq greyhound tips, Covid-19 had no further impact on the sport. What’s more, the 2021 Derby returned to Towcester Greyhound Stadium, with the venue reopening in May 2020. The following year, the 2021 English Greyhound Derby was able to return to Towcester, and the stadium is set to host the 2022 race too.
After a long history in London, greyhound racing fans will hope that the event can find a new level of stability in Towcester, having been moved back and forth by exceptional circumstances in recent years.
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