Why you should care
You can learn a lot from places that have been left behind.
This is the first in a new OZY video series entitled Abandoned, telling the stories of places that people have left behind.
You can almost see it: the majestic beasts thundering around the track, the stands crowded with bettors who’d come from the city, the confetti of torn tickets after each race. Those were Fridays and Saturdays at Black Canyon Greyhound Park, 40 miles outside Phoenix, Arizona, starting in 1967. The racetrack kept a whole town employed, besides.
Concerns about the welfare of the animals began to surface in the 1970s, but when Black Canyon shuttered its doors in 1982, it was because of a change in gaming regulations. The local economy sputtered. Revenues from U.S. greyhound racing reached $3.5 billion in 1991, according to a report from GREY2K USA Worldwide, an advocacy organization. But by then the land around Black Canyon was already on its way to becoming what it is now: dry, desert scrub.
Additional audio courtesy of Jonathan Brind.