Although this has been on the cards for quite some time now, Hall Green Greyhound Stadium officially closed. Having hosted greyhound racing since way back in 1927, the Birmingham track was one of the most popular with dog racing fans up and down the country, and the closure has been met with real sadness throughout the greyhound racing community. Euro Property Investments will be demolishing the stadium to replace it with 210 new houses. While crowds have decreased at Hall Green in recent years, this is a trend that is replicated at tracks throughout the UK, and this prestigious track still hosted a number of key events in the greyhound racing calendar.
Hall Green manager Chris Black recently spoke to the BBC and gave his views on the closure,
The stadium has suffered declining crowds over the years as people increasingly find new ways to spend their leisure time, said Mr Black.
“There’s so many other people connected to the stadium who will have to find somewhere else to go,” he said.
“With football and Netflix and things, there’s a lot more for people to do these days.
“[The housing plans] have been in the pipeline for a few years and the former manager Stephen Rea campaigned really hard to save the stadium so we hoped it would be overturned.
“It’s been a big part of my life. I’ve worked here for around 15 to 16 years in total. I started as a waiter and have pretty much done every job. My wife Clair works here too.”
Hall Green was the home of The Prestige from 2003 to 2017. This competition is one of the very best in the greyhound racing calendar, with winners including Rubys Razzle, Express Trend and Blue Bee to name but a few. Another track could take the competition on, and to see it here at somewhere like Towcester would definitely soften the blow of losing dog racing at Hall Green.
The £3 million paid for Hall Green Stadium seems like a relatively small sum in this day and age, and it is a real tragedy that one of the key tracks in England is no longer available for use. Hall Green stadium had a great feel about the place, and will be sorely missed. While greyhound racing does appear to be thriving in some departments, especially where Towcester and the Greyhound Derby are concerned, the greyhound racing authorities must do everything they can to ensure the smaller tracks around the country can survive.