GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - It has been an unprecedented time for Fonner Park. The Nebraska Racing Commission approved a second season of racing, marking the first time in the park's 66-year history they have held a second season.
Fonner Park's all-sources mutuel handle has risen to $3.2 million dollars a day. That number excludes the four mandatory payout days, where the park said they are averaging $6.6 million dollars. But they are retaining less with most bets coming off-site.
Fonner Park CEO Chris Kotulak said on a normal Saturday that number averages around $300,000 a day. Kotulak said due to bets coming in across the country and world is why they are receiving such large amounts of money flow through the park. The New York Times even featured them in an article by Joe Drape .
"I think we have exposed ourselves. I know we've exposed the horse racing to people who would never have seen Fonner Park," Kotulak said. "Based on the attention we're receiving now, it's either because there is nothing else to do or people like the product. So we won't know until a year from today."
Kotulak said they are getting bets from South America to Europe.
"It's strange we get phone calls requesting items from our gift shop because Fonner Park has now come on their radar," Kotulak said. "People have told us that this is on their bucket list now to go to Fonner Park. They didn't even know that we existed."
People are now well aware of the park as their races appear on TVG's website. Fonner Park holds races Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The races start at 4 p.m. CT.
Kotulak said they will not hold races Wednesday, May 20, which means they only have five more race days until they close up shop at the end of the May.