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The Melbourne Cup is one of the most iconic sporting events in Australia, and the biggest highlight on the local horse racing calendar each year. Often called “the race that stops a nation”, the Melbourne Cup has evolved since its birth in 1861 to become the richest two mile handicap event in the entire world. Along with the millions of people who witness the race on television each year, attendance for the event has also been growing over the decades.

Melbourne Cup attendances

Melbourne Cup attendances

Horse racing culture and the Melbourne Cup in particular has a long and rich tradition in Australia, with people attending races in all manner of exotic, amusing, and fashionable clothing. The official attendance records for the Melbourne Cup have fluctuated over the years, with the most popular events attracting over 110,000 people through the gates. The first time the 100,000 mark was reached was way back in 1926, with this incredible feat achieved multiple times since then.

The Melbourne Cup attendance record was set in 2003, when 122,736 people walked through the doors at Flemington Racecourse. While the actual Flemington record stands at almost 130,000 for the 2006 Victoria Derby, the Melbourne Cup continues to attract huge numbers each and every year. While Melbourne Cup Day is by far the most popular day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the four days combined see attendance of roughly 350,000 each year.

Melbourne Cup Attendances:

2021 – Capped at 10,000
2020 – 0 (COVID-19)
2019 – 81,408
2018 – 83,471
2017 – 90,536
2016 – 97,479
2015 – 101,015
2014 – 100,794
2013 – 104,169
2012 – 106,162
2011 – 105,979
2010 – 110,253
2009 – 102,000
2008 – 107,000
2007 – 102,411
2006 – 106,691
2005 – 106,479
2004 – 98,181
2003 – 122,736 (record)

What is the record attendance for the Melbourne Cup?

The record attendance for the Melbourne Cup was set in 2003 when 122,736 spectators walked through the gates at Flemington Racecourse.


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