Mobile Greyhound Park to end live races

Citing a declining market demand, the Mobile Greyhound Park will eliminate live greyhound races by the end of August, officials announced this week.

The park will continue to offer simulcast of races originating from other locations.

Mobile Greyhound Park opened in August 1973 after state officials passed legislation to allow parimutuel betting. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians purchased a controlling interest in the park in 2009 and has operated it under their Wind Creek Hospitality banner, along with the Pensacola Greyhound Park and Wind Creek Casino and Hotel in Atmore, Ala.

Unlike many similar betting facilities, the Mobile Greyhound Park doesn’t have slot machines, poker, or other forms of gaming. Officials said that in 1991, there were 62 active greyhound tracks nationwide that were unsupported by other forms of gaming. Today, Mobile Greyhound Park is one of only two.

Approximately 30 employees are expected to be affected by the decision to end live races.

“As the changes bring a reduction in demand for staffing, we are fully prepared to assist each of our team members with locating and applying for opportunities at other Wind Creek Hospitality facilities, including Pensacola Greyhound Park and Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Atmore,” officials said in a statement. “Our HR professionals are meeting with each team member to help coordinate a transition plan suited to the individual. All MGP team members are well-trained and experienced with excellent customer service skills; we do not expect they will experience any difficulty finding other suitable employment.”

Officials said plans are also in place to assist kennel owners with relocation, adoption, and ongoing care of the approximately 400 greyhounds currently involved in live racing at the park. Some of the dogs may be moved to the Pensacola Greyhound Park or other greyhound tracks, while others will be placed for adoption.

“We routinely place over 600 greyhounds each year through Mobile Greyhound Pet Adoption Kennel and we have relationships with approximately a dozen other adoption agencies across the country that will help with placement,” officials said.

Anyone interested in adopting a greyhound can contact the Mobile Greyhound Pet Adoption Kennel at (251) 653-5000, extension 102 for details.