On Monday the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) announced the closure of Harold’s Cross Greyhound Stadium in Dublin. As a group, the IGB is currently in debt. This liability (estimated at approx. €20m) is attributed to the construction of Limericks greyhound Stadium in 2011. After 89 years of greyhound racing the venue will close its doors, with various activities switching to Shelbourne Park.
Most news bulletins nationwide also covered the story of increasing rents along with the closure of the track. The average cost of renting a home is at the highest level on record according to Daft.ie, increasing to an average of €1,111 for the whole country – that was a 13.5% twelve month increase. Rental increases in Dublin ran at 14.5%. The time may have been right for the IGB to maximise the assets value.
Harold’s cross will fetch a far higher price in contrast to, for instance, IGB tracks in Tralee, Waterford or Youghal. Located on the South Side of Dublin City, the value of property is unsurprisingly increasing in the Harold’s cross area. Data on house sales from the property price register shows that the average value of a property in the Harold’s cross area was €419,182.84 in 2016. This is an increase from €342,892.13 in 2014 and €330,659.24 in 2015.
Whilst the decision to close is obviously taken with regret, the time may have been right to cash in.