Australia’s home of racing Flemington Racecourse will welcome up to 15,000 spectators across two zones for each day of its upcoming Flemington Racing Spectacular, beginning with Black Caviar, the Great Horse Race Day on 13 February.
The green light from the Victorian Government will also allow for greater flexibility of movement on course within two separate zones, ensuring the safety of racegoers whilst providing a more familiar race day experience.
VRC CEO Steve Rosich said the Club had been working diligently with the Government and health authorities since the start of the pandemic to plan for the safe return of patrons to the course, and was excited to be able to welcome the largest crowd on any Victorian racecourse since Super Saturday 2020.
“We have been planning for the safe return of crowds since the pandemic began, exploring how we could utilise our expansive grounds to accommodate spectators within the Government’s COVID protocols and set a benchmark for the safe delivery of major sporting events during a pandemic. We’ve been able to implement these plans, starting with 1,000 spectators in December and then 5,000 since January,” said Mr Rosich.
“We are delighted to kick off our Flemington Racing Spectacular on Saturday and our first Group 1s of the year in front of an even larger crowd of fans.
“Owners, members and the general public generate the atmosphere that contributes so much to our sport, and since their return to Flemington in December, every increase in crowds has seen that buzz around the course grow.
“The increase in capacity signals a return to a more familiar racing experience for spectators and participants alike – the ability to move more freely around the track within two zones, see the magnificent horses up close, enjoy the many food and hospitality offerings, and of course hear the roar of the crowd as horses and jockeys charge down the straight.”
Members will receive further details on the two zones including ticketing options today, including how the two separate zones will operate and the entertainment and dining options for members and the general public in each zone, with tickets on sale through Ticketek.com.au and additional tickets released shortly.
“Members are the lifeblood of the VRC, and their loyalty and support has sustained us during one of the most challenging years in the Club’s 156-year history,” said Mr Rosich.
“They have been incredibly patient and understanding of the crowd caps and restrictions under which we have had to operate. This capacity boost means that more members will have the opportunity to attend our Group 1 race days during the Flemington Racing Spectacular.”
The lift in patrons for Black Caviar, the Great Horse Race Day also marks the first race meeting at headquarters since the removal of the racing participant bubble, with two owners for each horse returning to the Mounting Yard for the first time since last March, another important step towards COVID-normal race days.
“Owners have been crucial in keeping racing going during the pandemic, and we are delighted to start welcoming them back into the Mounting Yard to watch their horses compete,” said Mr Rosich.
“With spacious grounds to facilitate social distancing and comprehensive COVID-safe protocols in place, we look forward to the day – hopefully very soon – that we can welcome every racing fan back to Flemington.”
The capacity increase will be in place for the entire Flemington Racing Spectacular, comprising Black Caviar, The Great Horse Race Day on 13 February 2021, Australian Guineas Race Day on 27 February 2021, and Super Saturday on 6 March 2021. Tickets for the Flemington Racing Spectacular can be purchased through Ticketek.com.au, with additional tickets released shortly.