Melbourne Cup 2020: Crowds barred from Flemington

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The 2020 Melbourne Cup carnival will be held without crowds after the Victoria Racing Club pulled the pin on opening the gates to spectators amid the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Despite putting forward a comprehensive submission to the Victorian Government detailing how the carnival could be safely hosted with smaller crowds, the VRC announced today that it “will not be possible to welcome spectators” amid current public health guidelines.

“While we are very disappointed not to be able to welcome our members and racegoers to Cup Week, we understand the government’s commitment to keeping our community safe. We also recognise the need for certainty and clarity for our patrons, being only six days out from Derby Day,” VRC chairman Amanda Elliott said in a statement.

“We are still in discussions regarding the potential return to the track for a small number of owners, as is currently permitted in regional Victoria.”

The VRC said they were committed to engage with fans despite an absent crowd at Flemington.

“What is certain is the Melbourne Cup carnival will go ahead with viewing audiences watching from across Australia and around the world,” she said.

“The spirit of Cup Week, the high quality racing and the 160th running of the People’s Cup will be enjoyed by millions.

“This year’s Cup Week experience will be one to remember. We have worked very closely with our broadcast partner Network 10, to make Melbourne Cup week an unmissable event that you will celebrate from home.”

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