MORE

Phoenix Trotting Park in Goodyear

Glimpses from the abandoned Trotter Park in Goodyear.
Glimpses from the abandoned Trotter Park in Goodyear.
Photos by Benjamin Leatherman

Ever wondered what this town might look like, post-apocalypse? The abandoned Phoenix Trotting Park racetrack in Goodyearis a pretty good preview -- and a pretty handy one if all those rumors of The Rapture happening in less than a week prove to be true.


Desiccated by the ravages of the past 50 years, all that remains of the abandoned racetrack (off Interstate 10 on the edge of Goodyear) is its ginormous grandstand that looks like it survived a massive explosion and or served as a movie set.

And oddly enough, it's done both.

Phoenix Trotting Park's lifespan was tragically short. It was built in the early 1960s, and debuted as a gambling and entertainment destination for horse race junkies in 1965.

The interior of the grandstand at Phoenix Trotting Park.
The interior of the grandstand at Phoenix Trotting Park.

​One of the proprietors and visionaries behind the facility was James Dunnigan, the renowned New York horseracing impresario, who ultimately dropped $10 million (about $7 million more than its original budget) to build the park.

And while Dunnigan could anticipate which horse would win a race, he failed to foresee the track's poor attendance.

More than 12,000 people showed up for opening day, but the track was hard to get to (in the in 60s, the I-10 didn't reach Goodyear), and after two-and-half seasons, the park closed.

The grandstand has remained mostly vacant since the '60s, save for the flocks of birds that nest in the rafters, as well as the numerous human visitors that have braved the dangerous structure for impromptu parties and graffiti sessions.

Today, visiting Phoenix Trotting Park is a relatively dangerous, treacherous, and illegal journey.

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook and Twitter.


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >