Greyhound racing is a widely followed sport not only by Australians but also from people in other countries all over the world such as United States, Ireland, New Zealand and Great Britain. Other countries that play the sport include Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, among others. In Australia, greyhound racing is more popular to males that belong to the working class.
All over Australia, the governing body that regulates greyhound welfare and living conditions is the Australian Greyhound Racing Association or AGRA. Aside from ensuring that greyhounds are healthy and are in good condition before they enter the race, it is also their task to facilitate overall examinations on greyhounds to make sure they are free from any medical condition, malnourishment or parasite growth.
In the state of New South Wales, The Gardens Greyhound Sporting Complex is considered one of the most popular venues for greyhound racing. It is located at Sandgate Road, Birmingham Gardens in Newcastle, and has a capacity of as much as 2,000 people. Other sports played here aside from greyhound racing are the rugby league, rugby union and soccer.
Before it took its present name The Gardens, it used to be known as the Breakers Stadium and the Topper Stadium. The said stadium was first known to many as the home of the Newcastle Breakers, a soccer team who played in the old National Soccer League before they were kicked out of the league due to financial issues in 1990.
The Breakers Stadium was next called Topper Stadium as it went through its rugby league phase, when the Hunter Mariners established in 1997 claimed the stadium as its home. It was then that it started being officially called Topper Stadium. Eventually the team and the Super League itself lost its strong foothold of the crowd. The stadium was then transformed into Newcastle’s main greyhound racing venue. The redevelopment was finally completed in 2005, then taking the name The Gardens Greyhound Sporting Complex.
The Gardens Greyhound Sporting Complex has maximum seats of 1,100. Since it used to be a sports stadium for soccer and rugby, it is capable of hosting games with attendees as many as 2,000. The sporting complex has a total of 186 on-site spots for car parking. Race meetings are held every Wednesday and Friday nights of the week.
As a soccer stadium, the venue had a primary grandstand with a seating capacity of a thousand in addition to corporate boxes. On the other end, opposite it, is another grandstand, which had broadcast facilities on top. It also had great lighting facilities that were perfect for games held at nighttime.