Plans have been announced for a $150 million development of the racecourse and facilities at Moonee Valley.
MVRC Chairman Bob Scarborough said the fact that harness racing had been moved away from Moonee Valley meant that there were now real opportunities to widen the tracks appeal to the Australian and international racing communities.
“We hope to create an even better standard of racing for owners, trainers, jockeys, members and racegoers.
“We concluded that our narrow track and ageing facilities were compromising our ability to consistently attract the calibre of racing we need to be viable for the future,” said Scarborough
The so called master plan would see the car park on the western side of the track redeveloped to fund the new grand stand, which is hoped will have a capacity of 10,000 people.
The distinctive shape of the Moonee Valley track is also up for redevelopment.
The new home straight will run in an east-west direction on the school side of the track, and will be lengthened from 173m to 317m.
The track will also be widened from its current width of 24m to 30m.
One criticism that has always been levelled at Moonee Valley is that there are too many places on course where the track is virtually invisible.
“Racegoers will have greater lines of sight of the racetrack, a closer position to the horses at the furthest point in the back straight and a backdrop of the Melbourne city skyline.
“We are seeking to enhance the on-course experience through track re-configuration and our new start of the art grandstand will be significantly closer to the racing action,” said Scarborough.
“The venue will be more of an amphitheater and will enhance the unique atmosphere already enjoyed on course. There will be sufficient seating for both members and the general public,” continued Scarborough.
Assuming all developments gain the relevant approval, construction will start immediately after the 2016 Cox Plate and will be finished by August the following year to ensure the club does not miss out on premier race meeting