The Melbourne Cup Carnival attracts huge crowds each year. It continues to be recognised as the highlight of the Australian racing calendar, and draws attendees from across Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and internationally.
The Cup was always the most popular race of the year until a new trend emerged in 2001, when both Derby Day and Oaks Day attendances surpassed Cup Day as the popularity of Melbourne Cup Carnival exploded. When Makybe Diva won the first of her three Cups in 2003 the official attendance was a record 122,736, which was only surpassed by the Derby Day crowd of 129,089 in 2006. In 2007, the VRC introduced a new ticketing strategy which would cap attendance figures at 120,000 to avoid overcrowding.