To the south-west of Dublin is the town of Newbridge – part of County Kildare. Just on the outskirts of the town is Newbridge Greyhound Stadium, which was opened in 1972. Operated by the Irish Greyhound Board, it’s the perfect place to head to if you fancy a night of fun, excitement and entertainment. The beauty of greyhound racing is that it is genuinely a family friendly sport, so you can even take the kids along!
The stadium boasts a restaurant and a bar – both with decent seating and a view of the track. Because it’s located so close to the centre of Newbridge, you can even spend a bit of time getting to know a part of the Emerald Island that you might not know that well before heading off to the venue to watch the racing. Perfect!
Newbridge Greyhound Stadium
Race Days & Times
Though there are greyhound trials taking place on most days of the week, the racing itself is only held once, which is on a Friday night. The doors open at 7pm in order to give you a chance to have a drink, a snack or a proper bite to eat. The racing itself starts at 8pm, though if you only turn up just before the dogs begin their competition then don’t worry – food and drink is served throughout the evening.
- Ticket Prices: General admission for adults costs €10. If you fancy heading to the restaurant or pre-organising your food then you’ll be able to get a package ahead of time. There are also plenty of regular deals that you might want to keep your eye out for.
- Getting There: The stadium is to the north of Newbridge town centre, just off the road that takes you from Newbridge to Milltown. It’s just fifteen minutes walk from Newbridge Train Station to the venue. Buses don’t really stop near the ground, but you can get off at Pierce Town Bus & Coach Station and that’s about a twenty minute walk from the stadium.
- Parking: There’s an impressively large car park at the venue where you can leave your car whilst you’re in watching the racing.
Despite opening in 1972, Newbridge Stadium wasn’t the first venue in the town to host greyhound racing. There had been a previous track near to St. Conleth’s Park but it was closed down in 1968. When plans to open the new track began to be put into place, it was decided that it would make sense to move it to a more rural location in the northern part of the town. The new stadium was built by PJ Cox and his sons, Dermot and David, and when it first opened they inaugurated the Cox Cup in order to drum up some interest in the venue.
They built a track with a decent-sized 520-yard circumference that could be seen from the glass-fronted bar within the main stand. Patrons could also see both the weighing room and the kennels from there, meaning that they could watch the entire journey of the dog they were betting on from start to finish. Just six years after it opened, the main stand was in need of some improvements and so it was given something of a facelift. At the time, Denis Brennan, the track’s racing manager since it opened, was replaced by Christy Connolly.
Since the stadium opened some of the best greyhounds in the business have raced there, in some part attracted by the possibility of winning the Cox Cup. At the event in 1991, the track record was broken by Ardfelt Mick, for example. Despite it creating such interest, the track has been under threat for some time. In 2002, there were improvements done to it but that wasn’t enough to rejuvenate things and it endured a steady decline over the following decade. By 2011, both the Cox family and the Newbridge Greyhound Racing Company decided to close the venue. This was mainly due to a reduction in both sponsorship and attendances.
Thankfully, the closure didn’t go through. In August of 2011, a consortium headed by the director of Temple Stadium, David Morgan, bought the venue and injected some much needed money into its development. Despite the fresh cash and new look management of the stadium it still struggled to bring in the punters and the consortium stopped racing in 2013. Once again there was good news, though. The Irish Greyhound Board decided to take control of the stadium itself and it has been on good footing since then.