Turf Paradise: A track record of giving back to the community

Sixty-three years ago this month Turf Paradise opened its doors for the first time.

That’s six decades at the same location at 19th Avenue and Bell Road in Phoenix, racing horses and entertaining generations. Back then we were on the outskirts of town. Today we are in the heart of the city. And we keep the community close to heart.

Vince Francia

Much has changed in six decades but one thing remains constant, our commitment to the community. With one of the longest racing meets in the country running from October until May, Turf Paradise generates an annual economic impact of $91 million to the state of Arizona, providing tax revenues and jobs.

The track also provides opportunities for countless related businesses.

Turf Paradise also gives back. Earlier this month we contributed $10,000 to the Glendale Union High School District Foundation as part of our #ThoroughbredForEd initiative.

As Arizona schools struggle to find dollars, we believe the private sector should do its part. And we intend to do more on this front as we have the potential to be a regular, major revenue source for education, just as some other racing tracks are in other states.

On Jan. 19 we continued a 22 year tradition as we hosted a day at the races for Camp Rainbow which serves children living with or recovering from cancer and blood disorders.

In March, our eighth annual Wine Women and Horses charity event will benefit United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona.

We help raise money for retired racehorses and greyhounds. We provide funds and resources for an onsite chapel and minister that serves the trainers and jockeys that temporarily call our community home.

We regularly donate space for community functions including a sunrise Easter service that has been taking place in our grandstand for more than 50 years.

Turf Paradise is Arizona’s first sports franchise, operating in a privately funded facility. And when you have been around this long you realize that business thrives when communities thrive.

Arizona is our home and we do all we can to make sure Arizonans feel at home when they come to Turf Paradise. It remains affordable family-friendly fun. That was the case in 1956 and remains so today.

As we celebrate 63 years in Arizona, we want to thank our fans, our friends, and our community. And we invite them to continue to enjoy the thrill of horseracing now and for decades to come.

Editor’s Note: Vince Francia is Turf Paradise general manager.

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