The experience stakes of the Melbourne Cup Carnival are set to get even higher with the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) unveiling The Park, an exciting new fashion and entertainment quarter, FREE for all racegoers.
With a footprint of 10,000 square metres, The Park will be a playground of endless excitement and colour, including the world’s largest Myer Fashions on the Field enclosure, live entertainment and a myriad of activations and indoor and outdoor hospitality options.
VRC Executive General Manager Customer Engagement Caroline Ralphsmith said The Park will enrich the experience of loyal racegoers and entice new audiences to Flemington to celebrate the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“The Park combines the excitement of world-class racing with an energetic mix of fun, irresistible delights and endless possibility. It will be Flemington’s official playground and will bring people together to indulge in the colour and escapism of Australia’s most celebrated major event,” Ralphsmith said.
“Myer Fashions on the Field and a central entertainment stage will anchor The Park, bolstered by experiences and public marquees from a number of our official sponsors, outdoor alfresco areas and an inspiring mix of foodie treats.
“We are excited to welcome back beauty giant L’Oréal Paris as the Official Beauty Partner of the Melbourne Cup Carnival with their ever popular L’Oréal Paris Powder Room and as a support sponsor of Myer Fashions on the Field.
“We also welcome support and enthusiasm from James Boag’s Premium, Tabcorp, Yellowglen, Lavazza, Pernod Ricard and Red Rock Deli, all of which will bring their own take for indulging the senses on a social experience to The Park. The opportunities will be endless.”
Melbourne’s hottest restaurants and culinary destinations will also set up shop in The Park, alongside a vintage Ferris wheel and vintage carousel.
Entertainment will roll out over the four days of the Carnival and there will be an undercover bar with seating space to relax as well as plenty of outdoor seating and tables.
On Emirates Stakes Day the focus will shift towards fabulous free activities for children of all ages, with Emirates Stakes Day Fashions on the Field offering younger racegoers and families the opportunity to impress in the fashion stakes and claim fantastic prizes.
The Park will be situated behind the famous Flemington grandstands, previously home to The Precinct enclosure which has been repositioned to deliver a superior, front-of-house racing experience.
Popular with out-of-state visitors, The Precinct will be located at the east end of the front lawn in front of the Parade Ring and along with gourmet food and beverage offerings and roaming entertainment, includes an exclusive custom-built temporary grandstand with uninterrupted views of the track.
These initiatives form part of a broader long-term customer engagement strategy which has seen the VRC invest significant funds into facilities, technology, innovative food offerings, entertainment and reshaping the racing program since last year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“With an industry trend of declining attendances and increased competition for the discretionary dollar, the VRC recognised the need for customer engagement strategies, hinged upon innovation and customer experience that will reinvigorate current attendees and entice new audiences,” Ralphsmith said.
“As the custodians of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the VRC must continue to evolve and push the boundaries of possibility and discovery to ensure the event continues to lead the way. The Park is a symbol of this evolution and the first phase of our long-term strategy.”
The Melbourne Cup Carnival attracts more than 315,000 racegoers to Flemington each year and injects almost $400 million into the Victorian economy (more than $700 million nationally), bolstered by growing tourism numbers. In 2015 the Melbourne Cup Carnival was responsible for bringing nearly 64,000 visitors to Victoria, an increase of 9.3 per cent on 2014.
It is only 70 days until the VRC lifts the curtain on AAMI Victoria Derby Day on 29 October, followed by Emirates Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 1 November, Crown Oaks Day on Thursday 3 November and Emirates Stakes Day on Saturday 5 November.
Tickets, including tickets to The Precinct and other hospitality packages can be purchased from www.flemington.com.au.
Racegoers who snap up this year’s early bird general admission ticket offer will experience the Melbourne Cup Carnival at 2008 prices. Children under 16 are entitled to FREE general admission —a rarity for a major event.
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