Racing has regained its place as the second-best attended sport in Britain.
In 2015, racing was third behind football and rugby, with the Rugby World Cup hosted in Britain that year, despite over six million people making a trip to the track.
Last year more than 5.98 million people attended a day at the races, the third largest number in a decade with Royal Ascot, the Cheltenham Festival and Epsom Derby Festival among the top 10 attended UK sporting events.
Record crowds of 204,106 over the Christmas period between December 26 and January 1 provided a significant boost.
“It is very pleasing to see racing return to the second-best attended sport in Britain against a backdrop of unfavourably wet weather during the first quarter and the competition of the Rio Olympic Games and Euro 2016,” Stephen Atkin, Racecourse Association chief executive, said:.
“The five-year growth trajectory highlights that a day out at the races continues to increase in popularity.
“”Through intelligent use of this data racecourses can now make targeted improvements to the raceday experience and grow attendances by attracting those who are aware of racing but have not previously considered attending.”