4
| Travel |

Phoenix Trotting Park in Goodyear

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Ever wondered what this town might look like, post-apocalypse? The abandoned Phoenix Trotting Park racetrack in Goodyear is 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.

​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.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.