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Oxford Greyhound Stadium to shut
6:03pm Friday 23rd November 2012 in News
OXFORD Greyhound Stadium is to shut, it has been confirmed tonight.
The stadium in Blackbird Leys has had a question mark over its future for months, with building housing on the site being put forward as a potential plan.
The Oxford Mail has just learnt the last meeting will be held on December 29.
Oxord East MP Andrew Smith has tonight labelled the decision "an absolute tragedy".
It has been a top entertainment venue for greyhound racing and speedway since 1939
Staff and trainers were given the shock news by GRA general manager Clive Feltham at 2.30pm today, citing the losing of the Friday BAGS meeting as the main reason for the closure.
Racing manager Gary Baiden, who has been at the track since 1986 said:" We are all shell shocked. We were under the impression that even if the building plans were approved we would have at least another 18 months here at least.
"We expected a few cut backs and some staff to lose their jobs, but this was total shock. Maybe there are other plans afoot. With the stadium having vacant possession it might be easier for the city council to approve the planning application once it has been submitted.
"It's very sad, the end of an era. I feel sorry for the owners, trainers and staff. The trainers could be offered posts at the other GRA tracks, but what a headache for the trainers and nearly 400 greyhounds to contend with.
"Everybody affected here will have to find new jobs, it's a sad, sad day."
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