Randwick Racecourse is set to be revolutionised over the next couple of years with plans finally set for a massive redevelopment of the facility.
In a project being touted as the biggest Sydney has seen since the 2000 Olympics the entire precinct will be turned into a facility exceed world class standards.
The plan has been in the pipeline for an age with concerns over what would happen to racing during construction but a decision has been reached by the ATC and announced today.
“On face value racing and building don’t mix too well but we have a duty to our members to keep the racing going,” John Cornish from the ATC said.
“Construction will start on the 8th of November with a target date to finish it on the 30th of March 2013.
“it’ll stat immediately after the Melbourne Cup Day function.”
In fantastic news for members though racing will continue at Randwick during this period albeit in a somewhat reduced format.
“The carnivals will be saved and will be run,” he said
“They will be conducted here but with a slightly reduced capacity.”
Darren Pearce expanded on the construction plans saying people in Sydney should be very excited about the investment in metropolitan racing.
“It is going to be the largest stadium construction since the Sydney Olympics,” he said
“We’re very lucky to have such a skilled construction team.”
They have acknowledged there will be some sacrifices though and a fair chunk of meetings will need to be moved elsewhere.
“Over that period of constriction we’ll need to relocate up to 45 meetings, 19 on Saturday and the rest midweek,” he said
“Of those meets 16 will go to Warwick Farm, six to Rosehill and the rest to Canterbury and provincial.”
He said that the ability to control what races are run where in Sydney has made things much easier to accommodate new calendar.
“One of the key advantages to being a merged club is that we have the ability to schedule race meets in the very best sequence ,” he said.
While they have saved the major meets at the demands of members Cornish explains that they will also offer special incentives to keep current members happy and to entice new ones.
“Everyone will become foundation members of the new club at rollover time at June,” he said.
“The highest price you can pay is $430 for membership for 17 months.
“On top of that there’s a fair bit of incentive, you’ll become a fully fledged member at four racing venues.
“We’re also rewarding people that have been faithful members , the longer time you’ve been a member you’ll be rewarded with lower fees, 20 years equals a 20% discount.
“We’re waiving the application fee and reducing the annual fee, you’ll be able to join up friends for very heft discount.”
Cornish says that for each person you join up there’s $100 in it for you and as such there’s a very real possibility a hard working member could effectively join for free.
Trainers haven’t been overlooked either and Pearce says consultations have been ongoing with trainers, jockeys and owners to ensure the best outcome for everyone.
“We’ll be working through a number of programs with trainers to optimise the trainers time,” he said.