Hazel Park Raceway Closes Its Doors With Little Notice

“They simply didn’t make enough money to stay in business,” says local reporter Dave Mesrey.

Eli Newman/ WDET

After 70 years, the Hazel Park Raceway is set to close.

In an unexpected turn of events, the Hartman and Tyner organization announced that the raceway would be closing its doors effective immediately.

Horses still at the track have until April 15th to vacate the premises. 

WDET’s Ryan Patrick Hooper speaks with local journalist, Dave Mesrey, about the significance of the long-standing raceway’s sudden closure. 

The raceway was built in the 1940’s at a time when “horse racing was king,” explains Mesrey. “This was really the place to be.” 

Over the course of 70 years, the track supported multiple types of horse races. 

“While they attracted an awful lot of fans and filled the stands most Friday and Saturday nights, they simply didn’t make enough money to stay in business,” says Mesrey. 

Click on the audio player above for the full conversation. 


  • Ryan Patrick Hooper
    Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host of "In the Groove" on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. Hooper has covered stories for the New York Times, NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.