Home to regular top-tier, football, cricket and athletics, and indeed the host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, England’s second city of Birmingham has a thriving sporting scene. Added into that mix is one of the country’s premier greyhound racing venues.
Located in a suburban area to the north of the city, Perry Barr Greyhound Stadium has a rich sporting heritage of its own, and currently stages a regular programme of greyhound and speedway action. Boasting an impressive programme of top-class races, the track possesses everything you need for a cracking night out at the dogs, including several bars, a snack bar, and a quality restaurant.
What’s On Offer at Perry Barr?
The track currently stages four meetings a week; three afternoon fixtures on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays in addition to a Thursday evening meeting. Gates open at 10:30am ahead of the afternoon fixtures, with the first of 12 races commencing at 11:06am, and the last getting underway at 1:51pm. Racegoers may enter the stadium from 5:30pm on a Thursday evening, with the hare set in motion for the first of 12 races at 6:26pm, and the last concluding at around 9:30pm.
Fans of quality open race action are well served at Perry Bar, with the prestigious events of the St Leger, Laurels, Oaks, and Scurry Gold Cup all taking place at the track.
In addition to the greyhound action, the stadium is also the traditional home of the Birmingham Brummies speedway outfit. The speedway season runs from March through to August, with fixtures most commonly taking place on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening. Interested in catching the Brummies in action? Tickets are priced at £18 for adults, £15 for OAPs, £5 for students and £3 for 12 to 16 year olds, with all children aged 11 and under going free with a paying adult.
- Circuit Length – 435m
- Sprint Distance – 275m
- Middle Distances – 460m – 480m (standard) – 500m
- Stayers Distance – 660m – 710m
- Marathon Distance – 895m – 915m
What Can You Expect?
Monday and Tuesday meetings are predominantly held for the benefit of the bookmaking industry and tend to attract only a small number of spectators. They do nevertheless provide a good opportunity to experience live racing at minimal cost, with entry to the stadium being free for all on both days.
Admission to the Saturday afternoon fixture is priced at £5 for adults, and free for children aged 14 and under. Under 14s again go free at the popular Thursday evening meeting, with adult tickets costing £7.
Winning Deal Package
Also available for Thursday and Saturday fixtures is the excellent value Winning Deal Package. Priced at £10, this offer includes admission, a virtual race card, pie, mash, gravy and peas, and a pint.
The track also offers a couple of meal packages specific to the Thursday and Saturday meetings. Priced at £24 for adults and £12 for children, Thursday’s three-course evening restaurant package includes admission, a race card, and a three-course meal complete with full table service. Saturday racegoers meanwhile may be tempted by the Morning Brunch Package. Priced at £12 for adults and £8 for children, this deal includes entry, a race card, and a tasty brunch meal.
At the top end of the price ladder are the track’s two executive suite offers. Able to cater to groups of up to 16, these deals provide an excellent option for party events. Priced at £550, the Silver Package includes a private box in a prime viewing position, a delicious balti buffet and bubbles on arrival. The Gold Package meanwhile includes private box hire, a three-course meal with wine, bubbles on arrival, and a race named in your honour, all for a total cost of £675 – working out at a reasonable £42.19 per head for a party of 16.
How to Get There
The track address is Perry Barr Greyhound Stadium, Aldridge Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham, B42 2ET. For those driving to the track, Birmingham enjoys strong road links with all areas of the country, with the M6, M40, M5 and M42 all approaching the city. Once in Birmingham motorists should navigate to the A34, before moving onto the A453 which leads directly to the track. Having reached the venue, racegoers will find ample parking available just outside the stadium.
Perry Barr Railway Station is only around a 10-minute walk from the track and receives regular services from Birmingham New Street. Alternatively, the 33 and 51 local bus services both stop close by.
How to Get in Touch
- Tel: – 0121 331 3900
- Email: – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: – @perrybarrdogs
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Perry Barr will never be accused of having the most glamorous of beginnings, with the stadium being built on the site of an old rubbish dump. The only way was up from there, and following the 1926 purchase of the land by the Birchfield Harriers, the stadium – going under the name of Alexander Sports Grounds – opened as an athletics venue in 1929. Birchfield Harriers would remain in situ until 1977, and the club crest adorns both the inside and outside of the stadium to this day.
A Multi-Purpose Venue
Soon after the track opened, Birchfield Cycling Club moved in to join the athletics, swiftly followed by the Sunbac Speedway Club. Football was then next to the party with Aston Villa reserves using the stadium for training purposes during the 1930s and 40s.
In common with many sporting sites, the stadium was forced to close during WWII when requisitioned by the Home Guard, and later for the detainment of Italian prisoners of war. The sporting action recommenced in 1946 with the Birmingham Speedway side also taking up residence and immediately installing floodlights ahead of their schedule of evening fixtures. Soon after, Perry Barr provided the stage for the first-ever floodlit athletics meeting in 1948.
Original owners Birchfield Harriers moved out in 1977 when relocating to Alexander Stadium. Still no sign of greyhound action at this multi-sport venue though, but that was largely due to the fact that a dog racing facility already existed in the area.
Variously known as Birchfield Ladbrokes Stadium, or rather confusingly the Perry Barr Greyhound Stadium, the track lay just across the road from the Alexander Sports Grounds and first opened for business in 1928. However, to the surprise of many, the Ladbrokes-owned stadium – now referred to as “The Old Perry Barr Stadium” – was sold and quickly demolished in 1984, leaving the area without a dog track for the first time in 58 years.
The Racetrack Re-Opens
Fast forward to 1990 and rumours began to circulate that greyhound racing would soon be making a return. And in this instance, the rumours proved to be correct as, headed by former trainer Maurice Buckland, the Perry Barr Greyhound Racing Club were granted permission to introduce greyhound racing at the Alexander Sports Ground.
Launched on the 16th of October 1990 and now known as the Perry Barr Greyhound Stadium the track provided 82 kennels and initially staged racing on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Greyhound Racing Association
Quickly establishing an excellent roster of trainers, including Jeff De Mulder, and quality events, such as the Birmingham Cup, the track proved an immediate success. So successful that in May 2005 the Greyhound Racing Association shelled out £4.2 million to purchase the site.
Arena Racing Company
Gaining the St Leger from Wimbledon in 2017, the track received a further boost in 2018 when signing a deal with Arena Racing Company (ARC), agreeing to stage four meetings per week. Now owned by ARC, who stepped in to purchase the site from GRA in October of 2019, the track looks well placed to play a prominent role on the British Racing scene in the decades to come.