Is Joliet Speedway Closing? [Updated!]

A small town in Illinois is in the middle of a financial crisis. The last horse racing meet there was held seven years ago. Since then, the town’s population has dropped by almost half.

The town’s biggest employer, Joliet Smashers, has filed for bankruptcy. Some of its employees have started a petition on Change.org to save the club. They argue that the town needs a good sports team to boost its economy.

Here is the complete story from WREX TV 13 in Illinois.

Joliet’s Finest Race Club Files For Bankruptcy

JOLIET, Illinois – The last horse racing meet at Joliet Speedway was held 7 years ago. Since then, the town’s population has decreased by almost half. This summer will be the seventh anniversary of the last race at the town’s premier harness racing club. The problem is, the owners of Joliet’s Finest Race Club filed for bankruptcy. They say they need funds to keep their doors open.

The town’s biggest employer, the Joliet Smashers, has also filed for bankruptcy. Some of their employees have started a petition on Changeorg to save the club. They argue that the town needs a good sports team to boost its economy.

Here is the complete story from WREX TV 13 in Illinois.

The Decline Of Horse Racing In Joliet, Illinois

After the 2014 season, only four teams remained on the harness racing circuit in Illinois. With the number of starters shrinking due to low purses and lack of interest from the public, the sport is on the brink of extinction in the state. It was quite the opposite in the 1960s and 1970s, when 30 to 40 horses would start each race. The decline is attributed to the increased popularity of dog racing. The combination of both have taken a heavy toll on the sport in Illinois. The teams that do participate train almost full-time, hoping for a miracle to save the sport. It’s quite the Cinderella story, really.

Need For Miracles On The Road To Recovery

The real-life Cinderella story of horse racing in Joliet is heart-breaking. The town has been hit hard by the horse racing fever that swept the nation in the 1950s and 1960s. Thanks in part to some successful business owners who saw the potential in the sport, the town was able to maintain a racetrack for several decades. But the combination of increased popularity of other sports and the general decline of American industry have left the town desperately in need of a resurgence in the horse racing industry.

It’s a miracle that the town has survived as long as it has. In fact, with support from the state and national governments, a grant from the United Arab Emirates, and private investors, there is hope that the town’s last racetrack will become a hub for training and supporting horse-related careers.

Joliet’s Finest Race Club Needs Your Help

If you’re an avid horse racing fan, you may feel inclined to help save the sport in Joliet. It’s been a tough season for the town’s premier harness racing club. The last horse racing meet there was held seven years ago. Since then, the town’s population has decreased by almost half. The town’s biggest employer, the Joliet Smashers, has also filed for bankruptcy. Some of its employees have started a petition on Change.org to save the club. They argue that the town needs a good sports team to boost its economy.

The team’s website states that they are still looking for financial support, as well as volunteers to help operate the track. If you’re able and willing to help, they have several positions open, including horse jockey, exercise rider, timers, and hostess. Volunteers are needed for every position, so even if you aren’t able to ride, there is still chance to contribute. You can find more information at http://www.jolietracetrack.com.

The Joliet Community Supports Its Local Sports Teams

Another way the community supports its local sports teams is by turning out in droves to cheer them on. Some of the town’s top-notch eateries and bars organize game days, inviting the town’s best baseball, football, and hockey players to show off their talents. The owners and managers of the area’s sports teams benefit from this as much as the players themselves. In addition to providing them with fresh local meat and beer, the community ensures they always have customers, even on a cold winter night or when the weather is dreadful. This translates to more money in their pockets, which they can use to improve their lives and provide for their families.

It’s a great thing that the community supports its local sports teams, allowing them to thrive even during these tough economic times. With the economy improving, teams are looking for ways to generate additional revenue, so these kinds of events will only help. Plus, it’s always fun to watch the locals support their favorite teams.

The question is, will Joliet’s last horse racing track become a hub for training and supporting horse-related careers or will the town simply be another casualty of the ever-growing list of horse racing clubs that have closed down over the past few years? Time will tell.

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