Melbourne Cup bans fans from Flemington

Melbourne Cup in 2020.
The Victoria Racing Club has announced there will be no spectators at the Melbourne Cup in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Getty Images)

Melbourne Cup officials have announced no fans will enter Flemington to watch ‘Race That Stops the Nation’ due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After weeks of discussion, the Victorian Racing Club announced “it will not be possible” to welcome thousands of spectators into Flemington.

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VRC boss Amanda Elliot said the club had been in discussions with health authorities and the government, but no scenario with spectators was agreed upon.

“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,” Elliot said.

“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.”

Elliot said the Melbourne Cup would stage a number of events that viewers can participate in at home to keep everyone engaged throughout the day.

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

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

More than 100,000 people normally attend Flemington racecourse for the event, which is Australia’s most prestigious race.

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