The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) today revealed plans to build a $120 million grandstand at Flemington that will be a landmark destination and deliver experiences unsurpassed by any racecourse in the world.
The VRC’s new Club Stand will open in time for the 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival and, subject to the necessary approvals, will replace the existing 9,000 square metre Members’ Old Grandstand.
Chief Executive Officer David Courtney said the VRC was committed to ensuring that the new Club Stand provided a superior raceday experience at Flemington for Members and their guests.
“The existing stand is nearing the end of its useful life and a formal process for its replacement has been initiated with Heritage Victoria,” Mr Courtney said.
“The Club Stand marks the next step in the VRC’s ambitious Masterplan to ensure Flemington upholds its reputation as a word-class venue that showcases the best horse racing, entertainment and hospitality.”
Designed by Bates Smart Architects, the Club Stand celebrates the history and character of Flemington by drawing inspiration from its garden setting and complementing the existing raceday facilities.
The design reflects the Club’s commitment to meeting the expectations of Members and the next generation of racegoers while ensuring thoroughbred racing has a prosperous future at Flemington.
“As Australia’s premier racing club and the largest member based racing club in the world, we always aim to provide the finest experience,” Mr Courtney said.
“The exciting new Club Stand sets a benchmark for racecourse facilities by providing Members and their guests an opportunity to celebrate Flemington’s long and rich traditions and share new experiences.”
Occupying virtually the same footprint as the Members’ Old Grandstand, the new Club Stand will provide increased capacity to enhance the raceday experience, seamlessly connecting the 18,000 square metre, light-filled stand with Flemington’s beautiful gardens and the excitement on the track.
The five-level Club Stand offers sweeping 360-degree views of the Mounting Yard, race track and Members’ Lawn to the south; Parade Ring and raceday horse stalls to the east; Betting Ring to the north; and existing grandstands and Winning Post to the west.
The facilities offered in the Club Stand are consistent with the broader vision of Flemington as a world-class outdoor entertainment venue.
Bates Smart director Kristen Whittle said the VRC is creating a world first; the fusion of a Club with a 21st century stand.
“Racing is a global game and it is symbolic that we are doing this at Flemington because Melbourne is growing and a much more international focus is being brought in,” Mr Whittle said.
The VRC is planning to start construction after the 2015 Melbourne Cup Carnival and as part of the 2025 Masterplan the VRC will also build a new pavilion for owners and trainers between the Club Stand and the existing Members’ Grandstand.
The VRC has been the custodian of Flemington and the Melbourne Cup for 150 years and during this time the racecourse and its surrounds have undergone frequent improvements and upgrades, which have improved the experience for Members, patrons and industry participants.
The Club is committed to internationalising Australian racing, offering environmentally sustainable development and broadening Flemington’s appeal as a multi-purpose venue.