Multnomah Greyhound Park

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Multnomah Greyhound Park
Multnomah Greyhound Park.jpg
LocationWood Village, Oregon
Coordinates45°31′52″N 122°25′52″W / 45.531027°N 122.431083°W / 45.531027; -122.431083Coordinates: 45°31′52″N 122°25′52″W / 45.531027°N 122.431083°W / 45.531027; -122.431083
Date opened1957
Date closed2004
Race typeGreyhound

Multnomah Greyhound Park is a former dog track located in Wood Village, Oregon, part of the Portland metropolitan area. The park opened in 1957 and closed in 2004. After standing empty and disused for almost 12 years, the buildings at the site were demolished in summer 2016.[1]

History[edit]

Greyhound racing in the Portland metropolitan area began in 1933, organized by the Multnomah Kennel Club (MKC)[2][3] and held at Multnomah Stadium[2] (now Providence Park). In 1956, dog racing moved to Portland Meadows,[4] after the stadium's owners notified MKC that the club would have to find a new venue, to make room at the stadium for the Portland Beavers baseball team, which was set to relocate from Vaughn Street Park.[5] Greyhound races were only held at Portland Meadows – which was primarily a horse racing track – for one season, the 1956 season (Aug. 13–Oct. 17, 1956).

In January 1956, MKC purchased a 90-acre (36 ha) site in Wood Village, Oregon, with plans to build a new dog track and stadium there.[6] The new dedicated greyhound racing track opened in 1957[3][7] and was originally named Fairview Park, but in 1978 it was renamed Murray Kemp Greyhound Park in honor of MKC's founder and longtime president.[8] In 1991, the name was changed to Multnomah Greyhound Park.

1987 would mark the track's record season for attendance with 611,430; after the 1987 season the Multnomah Kennel Club would claim that greyhound racing was "the number one spectator sport in the state."[7] Throughout the 1990s, the track's attendance would continue on a steady decline. In December 2004, the track's owner, Magna Entertainment, refused to renew their lease on the building. This would mark the end of use for Multnomah Greyhound Park and the end of greyhound racing in Oregon.[7] The track would go to great lengths to try to ensure that all remaining greyhounds were adopted and sold for an average of $175 each to avoid greyhound homelessness.[9]

Within months of the park's closure, two businessmen from Lake Oswego proposed a $490-million casino and entertainment complex to be built on the site.[10] A ballot measure to authorize the plan was defeated in 2010 with 68 percent of voters opposed.[11] Two ballot measures (Measures 82 and 83) which would have allowed building of a casino at the park were both soundly defeated in November 2012.

In October 2015, "the Grand Ronde tribal confederation announced it was purchasing the defunct greyhound racetrack in Wood Village, sparking new speculation about whether a casino could end up on the site."[12] The purchase by the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon was completed in December 2015.[1] What type of redevelopment will take place on the property has not been decided, but demolition of the then-existing buildings began at the end of June 2016.[1][13]

The track[edit]

The track's max capacity was 18,760 people with a seating capacity of 6,064.[14] The track's length was 1,382.5 feet and was made of sand from the Columbia River. The kennel area had a maximum capacity of 840 greyhounds.

Other uses[edit]

Team Oregon conducts motorcycle safety training in a portion of the parking lot and the former kennels.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Rogers, Jules (July 12, 2016) [published online July 11]. "Dog track comes down: Konell Construction & Demolition tears down the Multnomah Greyhound Park". Portland Tribune. Business Tribune section, p. 6. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  2. ^ a b "Dogs Stage Trials on Stadium Track: Portland Gets First Look at Greyhound Racing". The Oregonian. May 17, 1933. Section 2, p. 1.
  3. ^ a b Gregory, L. H. (July 14, 1957). "Greg's Gossip [regular column by newspaper's Sports Editor]". The Oregonian. Section 2, p. 1.
  4. ^ "Hounds Go At Meadows". The Oregonian. August 27, 1956. Section 2, p. 5.
  5. ^ Turner, Wallace (July 13, 1955). "Proposed For Center". The Oregonian. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Dog Club Buys Wood Village's 90-Acre Tract". The Oregonian. January 6, 1956. p. 1.
  7. ^ a b c "History of Greyhound Racing in Oregon" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  8. ^ McLeod (August 17, 1978). "MKC track to be renamed". The Oregonian. p. C4.
  9. ^ "Closing Racetrack Leaves Greyhounds Homeless". Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  10. ^ "Developers eye dog track for nontribal casino". Lewiston Tribune. AP. March 13, 2005. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  11. ^ Wells, Shannon (November 2, 2010). "State voters deliver definitive 'no' to Wood Village casino". Portland Tribune. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  12. ^ Mapes, Jeff (October 15, 2015). "Grand Ronde tribe buys former dog racing track, sparking new casino speculation". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  13. ^ Ault, Trevor (June 28, 2016). "Multnomah Greyhound Park demolition begins". KOIN. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  14. ^ "Multnomah Greyhound Park". Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2010-12-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)