Arlington Park trends: The Web version.

Arlington Park trends: The Web version.

Posted by Mike Riopell on Fri, 04/22/2011 - 14:59

We started the week off talking about Arlington Park and the difficulties the entire Illinois horse racing industry faces.

That included some numbers from the Illinois Racing Board, showing just how much less people are playing the ponies these days.

There are dozens of different ways to measure that: How much people bet, how many people go to the tracks, etc.

Google gives us another intriguing one.

That graph shows how many people search for "Arlington Park” on Google. Notice how, obviously, activity spikes during racing season, then falls off every winter.

Notice also, though, that those spikes keep getting a little bit lower every year. That would match up with some of the experts we’ve talked to who say that interest in horse racing is simply declining.

Doubt the veracity of this kind of measurement?

Let’s take a look at another sport whose fans were more rabid last decade and could be losing interest.

Yep, that’s a search of the Chicago Cubs. In 2004 and the playoff years, people are Googling them. Last year and this year, not so much, a trend that’s played out in the attendance at Wrigley Field.

Sports, politics, it’s all the same. If you have any more ideas on what we could use Google Trends for, let us know.

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