Central Park Stadium Guide

Also known as Sittingbourne Greyhounds, Central Park Stadium is located in the Murston area of Sittingbourne in Kent. It has a capacity of around 6000 with 2000 of those spaces being seats in the main section of the stadium and the rest being made up of terraced areas.

There is a restaurant overlooking the track and the stadium prides itself on being welcoming to everyone. Part of that includes their ‘Family Pack’ that sees two adults and two kids get entry and a race card. They’re all about the fun, which is why family events and the likes of stag and hen dos are par for the course.

Map

Swap Start/End

Race Days & Times

Central Park is open throughout the year and has meetings on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Wednesday races begin at 7.31pm. The Saturday races start at 6.45pm with doors having opened at 5.30pm. On a Sunday, the doors open at 5pm and the first race is at 6.06pm. Both meetings feature twelve races.

Visiting

  • Ticket Prices: Entrance to Central Park Stadium is priced at £9 for adults; Children from 5 to 17 are asked to pay £5 and those under 5 can enter for free; There are also Family Packs that cost £22 for two adults and two children
  • Getting There: The Stadium is located in the middle of Central Park in Murtson, hence its name; The fact it’s in the middle of a park does mean it’s a little tricky to get to if you’re not driving, though; Sittingbourne Train Station is about half an hour’s walk away; There aren’t many bus stops close by either, but there is a car park you can use
  • Parking: There is a car park available for up to 1000 cars at the racetrack, available on a first-come first-served basis

History

The stadium was actually a purpose-built location for Sittingbourne Football Club, who chose to build it after they’d sold their old home – The Bull Ground – for £4.5 million. That was located in the centre of the town and the new site was located on the outskirts, allowing them to built a state-of-the-art venue.

Unfortunately, they overspent on their new home and soon found themselves in financial difficulty. As a result, they were forced into a situation where they had to sell the ground to the Sittingbourne Council and lease it back with the lease rates presumably lower than the payments they would otherwise have had to make.

After time, the council sold the property on again to a greyhound racing events company. The new owners agreed a seven-year lease with Sittingbourne FC but, because of the racing that was now taking place there, the football club struggled to be able to guarantee when they’d be able to use it. Thankfully for Sittingbourne FC, a training area named Bourne Park had been built on the complex in 2002 and so the football club began to play their matches there instead.

The Central Park Stadium for greyhound racing opened its doors for the first time on the 3rd of October 1995. The inaugural race was run over 475 metres and the winner was a dog called Try My House, trained by Wayne Wilson. By 1996, the financial problems that had plagued the stadium re-surfaced and the track had to close. No promoter was willing to take it on until Roger Cearns, the grandson of WJ 'Bill' Cearns who had founded the Wimbledon Stadium, re-opened it.

Cearns revitalised Central Park’s fortunes and was able to negotiate a deal that saw the Trainers Championship head there in 1998. He did so again in 2000 and in the intervening years introduced the Kent Derby as a principal event. The re-invention of the stadium was completed in May 2013 when Speedway was introduced, courtesy of the Kent Kings Speedway Team.

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