After 80 Exciting Years, Michigan’s Last Horse Racing Track Closes Its Doors
After an illustrious 80-year run, the last remaining horse racing track in Michigan has closed its gates, marking the end of an era filled with adrenaline, passion, and timeless tradition.
For decades, the sound of thundering hooves and the fervent cheers of spectators echoed through the grandstands of Michigan's Northville Downs in Northville, Michigan. From seasoned bettors to families seeking a day of excitement, the track served as a hub of community spirit and sporting prowess. On Saturday night, February 3, all the action came to an end.
February 3rd was the last night of live harness racing for Northfield Downs, and the foreseeable future in Michigan as the racetrack closed and will soon be developed. According to reports, there were plans to move the Downs racing to a location in Plymouth Township. Reports indicate Plymouth Township voted unanimously to rescind a motion authorizing the construction of a new track on a 128-acre of land that is owned by Northville Downs ownership.
Northville Downs opened in September 1944 and was the first Michigan track, and one of the first tracks in the U.S., to present night Harness racing. Times have been tough in the world of racing as of recently. The closing was a sad event for many who enjoyed the racing over the years, but a victory for many animal rights groups.
"We don't believe animals should be used for entertainment gambling purposes. We don't think it's a family activity. They are literally being whipped", Animal Activist, April Lawson, told CBS News Detroit. "In a perfect world, it's going to be condemned that horse tracks are no longer exist in Michigan. So that's a victory-win for us. It's a perfect win for animal activism".
A developer is set to start demolition on Northville Downs later this year.
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