The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) is delighted to announce the return of patrons to Flemington Racecourse beginning with 500 VRC members and owners on Living Legends Race Day, Saturday 12th December.
The VRC is working closely with the Victorian Government and Racing Victoria in the hope of increasing capacity to 5,000 people and more for subsequent race days including Christmas Race Day on Saturday 19th December.
Approval for the increase to 5,000 patrons on Christmas Race Day will require a change to the Victorian Government guidelines and cannot be guaranteed, however the VRC has prepared for this possibility and remains hopeful.
VRC Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said the Club had been eagerly awaiting the day it could welcome back its valued members, owners and the general public.
“We can’t wait to welcome a crowd of 500 for Living Legends Race Day on Saturday 12th of December, our first crowd of any size since Super Saturday in March,” Mr Rosich said.
“Race days haven’t been the same without our members, owners and racing fans – they create the atmosphere that contributes so much to our sport.
“We hope that, subject to approval from the Victorian Government, we will be able to significantly increase the crowd size to 5,000 people on the 19th of December and an even greater capacity in January, beginning with our popular New Year’s Day Race Day.”
A great deal of preparation has gone into creating a COVID-safe environment so guests can enjoy all the action in a safe, socially distanced setting.
Under the Victorian Government’s current limits on crowds, 500 people will be permitted through the gates for Living Legends Race Day, excluding those essential racing participants and race club officials that have kept the sport safely operating during the pandemic. All patrons will have an allocated seat, with restrictions on movement around the course to ensure social distancing is maintained.
The crowd is likely to comprise 440 VRC members, with tickets allocated by ballot and 60 rotating places for owners of participating horses. Further details around the process including how to enter the ballot to attend Living Legends Race will be sent to VRC members on Friday 4th December.
“Members are the lifeblood of the VRC, and our priority is ensuring that they have the first opportunity to return to Flemington for our December race days, as we want to recognise their loyalty and support throughout one of the most challenging years in the Club’s 156-year history,” Mr Rosich said.
“We look forward to welcoming even more racing fans as soon as we get the green light to host larger crowds, in line with the prevailing public health advice.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 15 race meetings have been held behind closed doors at Flemington Racecourse this year, including a spectator-free Melbourne Cup Carnival.