Gulf Greyhound Park is the last dog racing course in Texas and will close at the end of the year. Photo:
The closure of Gulf Greyhound Park at La Marque has been repeatedly described as “the end of an era”, in part because the racetrack operated for nearly 30 years. But the space will escape demolition and will instead be redeveloped into a 12,000-seat concert hall. The Galveston Daily News reported over the weekend that developers Jerome and Leslie Karam had purchased the space and planned to turn the space from a gambler’s paradise into a space for live music fans, especially those located between Galveston and Houston.
Gulf Greyhound Park closed in the summer of 2020. The pandemic certainly didn’t help, although general manager Sally Briggs said she attributed the closure at the time to a “decline in parimutuel live racing and simulcast betting over the past few years”.
Although best known for shopping, the space has in recent years expanded the type of events that would take place there, suggesting the transformation to come, including various festivals (food truck festival, seafood festivals) and a Christmas lights event.
The pre-existing seats at the park provide an interesting player for the region’s large-scale shows. The 12,000-seat Gulf Greyhound Park is expected to attract some performers who would typically pass through the downtown Toyota Center (capacity around 18,000), Cynthia Woods Mitchell in The Woodlands (16,500) and the Smart Financial Center in Sugar Land (6,400).