Canterbury Park is located on 355 acres in Shakopee, Minnesota - just 25 minutes from downtown Minneapolis. Built in 1984, Canterbury Park is one of the last great racetracks built in America. The 300,000 square foot grandstand features three levels for racing, along with an 18,000 square foot Card Club.
The track itself features a one mile oval dirt track and a seven furlong turf course. Outside seating is available along with several indoor seating options. The track runs multiple food stands and bars throughout the building and simulcast betting is also offered.
Canterbury Downs was founded by Walter Brooks Fields, Jr., and other investors. Fields, along with his nephew Brooks Hauser, formed Minnesota Racetrack Inc. after a constitutional amendment allowing parimutuel wagering on horse racing was approved by Minnesota voters in 1982. Naming Santa Anita as its primary partner, Minnesota Racetrack Inc. was awarded the state's first racetrack license by the Minnesota Racing Commission and the facility in Shakopee held its first race on June 26, 1985.
In 1990, Canterbury was bought by Ladbroke Racing Corporation and was renamed New Canterbury Downs. In December 1992, it closed its doors after a disastrous live racing season that saw an enormous drop in attendance. In late 1993, Canterbury was bought by Irwin L. Jacobs, who quickly sold it to Curtis and Randy Sampson. Shortly after the sale, the Sampsons worked to revitalize Canterbury, so that it reopened its doors to simulcasting, and it quickly removed itself from debt. In late 1994, Canterbury carried through on a promise to return live horse racing to Minnesota. In January 1995, Canterbury Downs officially changed its name to Canterbury Park.