The Racecourse is part of Durham University's sports facilities. It contains squash, tennis and fives courts, cricket, Rugby, hockey and football pitches and rowing houses. It is located along The River Wear and has been used as a Sports Ground since at least 1733. As well as use by Durham University, the Racecourse is known for hosting two annual events, the Durham Regatta and Durham Miners' Gala. Its cricket ground is used for first class cricket and is the home of Durham University Centre of Cricketing Excellence (Durham UCCE).
Durham Miners' Gala :
Durham Miners' Gala was first held at the Racecourse in 1872, which was the gala's second edition. All editions of the gala have since been held at the Racecourse. The event is typically held in mid July, though has on occasions been held in August. The Racecourse is the location of the speeches held at the culmination of the Gala march. At its peak, 250,000 people attended the Gala.
Cricket Ground :
The Racecourse's most significant facility is its cricket ground. It had the honour of hosting Durham’s first match as a first-class county in 1992, against Leicestershire. Between 1992 and 1994, Durham played seven games there in the County Championship, seven List A games and a three-day game against Australia. Since Durham moved into The Riverside Ground, which was completed in 1995, the ground has changed purpose to host many of Durham UCCE’s matches, which has so far included eleven first-class matches as well as their games in the Northern Rock North East Premier League. In 2007, it also hosted a game between the touring West Indies team and the MCC.