“We are looking to continue to grow racing. We want to improve the comfort of the public and have the ability to give everyone a premium experience. It will also give us other areas for functions and conventions on non-racedays.”
The ATC is working through development applications, with preliminary drawings of the grandstand showing it will seat up to 7000 punters, as well as having a bar garden and a restaurant on the second level, with vistas over the racecourse and back to the city skyline.
The stand will also be retro-fitted so it can be extended by adding a third floor in the future. It is understood the ATC board has already come to a unanimous decision on the name for the grandstand, which will be announced within the next month. It is believed it could be named in celebration of Winx’s 20 wins at Royal Randwick.
The plans are well advanced to have the foundation of the new stand laid before The Everest meeting this year, with plans to erect the world’s biggest two-story marquee for Sydney biggest raceday.
That would be mean the capacity of Randwick would exceed the 43,000 who attended the farewell of Winx on Saturday.
Construction of the stand will hopefully start in November, with the stand itself to be delivered for The Everest meeting in 2020, meaning the only major meetings to be effected by the building project would be The Championships next year.
The concept for the Queen Elizabeth Stand was always to have the ability to extend it onto the Leger lawn and have bigger convention areas. The new stand will also be used to further develop the non-raceday revenue of the club.
The club was well aware of the limitations of Randwick, particularly on wet and hot days. The new stand will give extra undercover areas for the public.
“The Improvements to public facilities are needed at Royal Randwick Racecourse with Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club working collaboratively to improve and expand the capacity of that venue to accommodate the public in comfort,” the Racing NSW strategic plan noted when released earlier in the month.
“This is especially the case as this plan seeks to continue developing events and engaging new customers.”
Funding of $30 million has been set aside for public facilities in the strategic plan from $98.5m, which will be raised from the the point-of-consumption tax that started in January this year.
Racing writer for The Sydney Morning Herald