Organisers have confirmed crowds will be back at the Melbourne Cup for the first time since 2019, with 10,000 allowed at Flemington, including 500 members of the general public.
- 70 per cent of spectators at Flemington for Melbourne Cup day will be VRC members, with 5 per cent of the 10,000 crowd open to the public
- Spectators will have to be double vaccinated and show proof on entry — they will also have to stay in one of three allocated zones along the course
- If the trial is successful, and if Victoria reaches 80 per cent double vaccination, similar crowds may be possible for Oaks Day (November 4) and Mackinnon Stakes Day (November 7)
The Victorian Racing Club (VRC) said it had received formal approval from the Victorian government for its COVID-safe plan for the race day on November 2.
Under the plan, a maximum of 10,000 patrons will be allowed at Flemington racecourse for the day.
Of the available tickets, 7,000 (70 per cent) will be allocated to VRC members. Most of the rest will go to owners of horses entered in the day’s races, corporate partners and sponsors.
Five per cent of the total tickets (500) will be available for the general public. Those tickets will be available for $120.
Tickets will go on sale to members in stages from October 26, with tickets going on sale to the general public on October 29.
“With less than 10 per cent of our usual capacity Melbourne Cup Carnival crowd for three of our four Carnival days, we were committed to providing priority access to our members who have supported the club during the hardships of the last 18 months,” VRC chief executive Steve Rosich said.
“The loyalty and support of our members, owners and partners has been outstanding, and we can’t wait to welcome racing fans back to Flemington and present world-class racing across the Melbourne Cup Carnival.”
The VRC will run a trial on Melbourne Cup day — if all is successful and if Victoria reaches 80 per cent double dose vaccination in time, the same 10,000 limit will be applied for the other days of the carnival — Oaks Day (November 4) and Mackinnon Stakes Day (November 7).
Talks are ongoing between the VRC and the Victorian government about the possibility of having an event trial for the opening day of the carnival, Derby Day (October 31).
Cup day will be an all reserved seating event, with no roaming tickets as allowed in pre-COVID years. Spectators will be separated into three zones along the course and will not be allowed to move between zones.
All racegoers at Flemington will be required to be double vaccinated and to show proof of vaccination on entry. They will have to wear a mask indoors and be seated when eating or drinking.
VRC chairman Neil Wilson said he and the club were grateful to be allowed to have crowds back on Melbourne Cup day.
Victoria trials its vaccinated economy
The Melbourne Cup racing carnival will be used to trial new technology as part of Victoria’s move towards its “vaccinated economy”.
“The VRC is incredibly proud that this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival is playing a role to revive major events in Victoria,” Mr Wilson said.
“Over 4,000 jobs have been generated at Flemington alone by the staging of this year’s event, supporting the events, hospitality and retail industries that have been so greatly impacted over the past 18 months.
“We hope that this year’s Carnival can further help revitalise Victoria’s economy, building on the $434 million in economic benefit generated by the event in 2019, the most recent Carnival at which we were able to host a crowd.”