Growing up, I spent many a Sunday at Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha, WI. Remarkably, the website is still active despite the park having closed in 2009. I'd be seven or eight-years-old, nursing a junior soda while my father and godfather bet the dogs. I remember my father fruitlessly explaining the different between trifecta and quinella bets. I wouldn't care to learn until I was much older.

Of course, when I became of legal gambling age, Dairyland Greyhound Park was long closed. Even for a child, it was a thrill to see the dogs race, the colorful TV screens with the odds and moneylines, and the general camaraderie that comes with a day at the races.

Now, at 25-years-old, I find myself in a brand new city with another greyhound track soon to close. Tis pity.

At least TVG still gives me my horse-racing fix.

Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
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The Iowa Greyhound Park is nearing its final act as it's set to close this month. Me, my father, and godfather ventured out this past weekend. It would be their last hurrah at the park. I hope to squeeze one more afternoon into my schedule before the doors forever lock.

I love the atmosphere that horse and greyhound parks bring more than the actual gambling part of the equation. I understand enough to make basic bets (exactas are my usual bag, unless I'm feeling froggy and opt for a trifecta). Basically, I know enough to lose money.

It doesn't matter, however. The dog-track is a simple, good time out in public. Those things are even more easy to appreciate after knowing what the absence of events was like just two years ago with the pandemic. When you learn that the Iowa Greyhound Park was the country's first nonprofit course of its kind, with the profits going to the city of Dubuque and other charitable organizations, that makes its demise that much more upsetting.

The Dubuque track closing, as well as the remaining ones in West Memphis and Arkansas set to close in December, will leave greyhound racing venues exclusively in West Virginia. The towns of Wheeling and Charleston are able to continue with subsidies from casino revenue.

That's what happens when revenue plummets 82% over a 15-year span, I suppose.

Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
Photo Credit: Steve Pulaski
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The Iowa Greyhound Park has until May 15th, 2022 until the final horn sounds. Consider making one last trip. You don't even have to wager. Maybe grab a junior soda and stay a while.

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