Last week, Andrew had the pleasure of attending the reopening of the Romford Greyhound Stadium to celebrate the completion of its £10m upgrade and renovation works. The fully upgraded stadium now boasts two restaurants, four bars, tote betting facilities and separate fast food and lounge areas. 100 new car parking spaces were added, the reception area and office building renovated, and a new track was also put down.
Andrew was delighted to officially cut the ribbon at the grand reopening, accompanied by Mayor Michael Dean Burton. Hundreds attended the reopening ceremony for a fantastic evening of racing in the packed-out stadium. The Champions Stakes Final was the top race of the night, with Aayamza Express taking home the £10,000 prize. The reopening festivities included a Caribbean-style steel drum band, goodie bags and a raffle with a car as the top prize.
Andrew spoke at the reopening ceremony about the importance of greyhound racing to Romford and to him personally: “I’ve been coming to this greyhound stadium for most of my life, and it's wonderful to see the greyhound stadium refurbished and open for the public. It's a great tradition here in Romford and we're all very proud of what you have achieved here and we're all looking forward to a wonderful evening of entertainment, and many more years of entertainment here at Romford Dogs."
In his position as chair of the All Party Parliamentary Greyhound Group, Andrew has campaigned on the issue of greyhound welfare, fighting to ensure that the dogs welfare comes first both during and after their racing careers. The Government recently agreed a new £3m commitment from bookmakers which will ensure that the welfare of greyhounds is protected and improved from registration to retirement.
The evening served to highlight the importance of the great British tradition of greyhound racing in Romford. Romford Dogs is now the last greyhound stadium in London, and this new renovation should ensure that it remains one of the country’s top stadiums and a fantastic attraction in Romford for years to come.