May 2024 - Moonee Valley Racecourse to activate infield for public use in historic racecourse redevelopment

Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) has announced plans to activate its racecourse infield, undertaking an expression of interest (EOI) campaign, inviting interest from strategic organisations that align with The Club's vision of delivering Victoria a new world-class sports and entertainment complex. In preparation for this next stage of development, the MVRC has undertaken extensive consideration of all stakeholders, including community, council, and commercial partners.

Within the MVRC's overarching redevelopment masterplan, unveiled in April 2023, the 8.5-hectare infield of the racetrack will be transformed on non-racing days into a multipurpose sports and entertainment zone that will see the Club accessible to the community.

Major organisations within the sports and entertainment realm have been invited to submit their interest during the EOI campaign, which commenced in April 2024. The Club is anticipating final shortlisting and selection of the infield partner(s) in June 2024.

Upon selection, the infield partner can work closely with the MVRC to devise the development program for the assets sitting within the infield space. Installed facilities will seek to be multi-functional, with the wider community and fan engagement considered in its design.

Moonee Valley Racing Club's Chief Executive Officer, Michael Browell, said established organisations with similar legacies and significant membership bases were considered attractive prospective partners, as they would contribute to the Club's sustained commercial viability and long-term prosperity for current and future customers. 

"As part of the Moonee Valley Racing Club's transformation, the racecourse infield will be opened up to the public's recreational use for the first time in its 140-year history," 

"The selection of a well-regarded and thriving sports or entertainment partner will allow the Club to contribute a balanced offering all year around to customers and the local community alike, ensuring the prosperity of the Moonee Valley Racing Club for years to come," Mr Browell said. 

Core horse racing offerings throughout the year, such as the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Carnival, will not be impacted by the redevelopment and future activation of the infield. Provisions set in place during the EOI process will ensure the partner selected has the flexibility to align with or fit around the Club's Racing calendar.

Moonee Valley Racing Club Chairman, Adam Lennen, said the MVRC will continue to focus its strengths as a provider of world-class night racing and hospitality. 

"By bringing in a partner whose expertise is in entertainment, recreation, or another complementary area of sport, the Club can deliver on its intention of bringing a world-first sports and entertainment experience to a racecourse infield," Mr Lennen said.

Social, economic, and employment benefits for the broader community will also be considered by the Club throughout the infield partner selection process, with the proposed activation being accessible to the community when not in use for sporting operations or events. 

Additionally, suggestions and feedback from the Moonee Valley community will hold significance in the MVRC infield partner selection process, with sentiment assessed via a community survey. 

“After undertaking a comprehensive consultation with stakeholders, members and the local Moonee Valley Community, we found that 70 per cent of survey respondents consider having access to community sporting facilities as being of high importance to them.

"We envision the creation of new sporting and recreational facilities within the infield will enhance the role and function of the Moonee Valley Racing Club within the Moonee Ponds area, serving as a vibrant and unique precinct for the local community to enjoy and participate in," Mr Browell said. 

When exploring partnership opportunities, the MVRC will prioritise the inclusion of environmentally sustainable initiatives and practices. A whole-site approach to sustainable design has been considered throughout the redevelopment masterplan, with the Club working closely with design consultant teams to achieve EnviroDevelopment certification last year.

An adaptive reuse strategy for the infield will be considered at all stages of the racecourse's redevelopment. This strategy would significantly improve the provision of publicly accessible, open green space within Moonee Ponds and its surroundings. 

The new Racecourse Precinct is targeted for practical completion in Q3 2027, aligning with the racing of the 2027 Ladbrokes Cox Plate.

For further information or to request an interview, please contact Neue Media: 

Michelle Kane | Senior Communications Manager | | 0450 522 896

Erica Moloney | General Manager Communications | | 0421 289 036