Upgraded patron and greyhound racing facilities at The Meadows were today revealed as part of a works package to be funded under the Victorian Coalition Government’s $79.5 million Victorian Racing Industry Fund (VRIF).
Minister for Racing Denis Napthine attended the regular Wednesday meeting at The Meadows and officially announced the $630,000 project which includes the installation of new starting boxes, a track-refurbishment and the construction of a purpose-built picnic area for spectators.
“These two important projects at The Meadows will deliver great benefits to patrons and the greyhound racing industry and fit perfectly with the objectives of VRIF,” Dr Napthine said.
“Over the years The Meadows has become an institution for Victorian greyhound racing as home to Group 1 races such as the Australia Cup, Top Gun and Maturity.
“It’s vital that we continue to support this level of competition at The Meadows and this track refurbishment along with the installation of new state-of-the-art starting boxes will ensure that greyhound races at this venue continue to be of the highest quality.”
Dr Napthine said the off-track portion of the works program would lead to a new level of comfort for raceday patrons.
“The picnic facility will be located on the home straight and feature a timber deck with refrigeration and barbecue facilities while timber cladding and shade sails will offer protection from the weather.
“Work on the picnic area will begin in November and will be completed before the end of the year so racegoers will be able enjoy a fantastic day of racing outside this summer. The new area will be ideal for functions or Christmas parties which are always popular events at The Meadows during the festive season,” Dr Napthine said.
The Meadows President Eddie Caruana said the exciting project would require substantial funds and the club was extremely grateful for the Coalition Government’s support.
“The Meadows will undertake a number of projects to update a venue that has been in operation successfully for over 12 years. The amount of traffic received at the track means it needed work to remain in great condition throughout the year,” Ms Long said.
“The new picnic area will quickly become a haven for patrons, especially over the busy summer months and on major feature nights.”
Greyhound Racing Victoria CEO John Stephens said the project was part of an exciting future for greyhound racing in Victoria
“The Meadows is one of our premier facilities that continues to grow. The facility attracts large crowds to its Saturday night race meetings and is proud to be a venue that has a wonderful family atmosphere which attracts hundreds of young families to the greyhounds during the summer holidays,” Mr Stephens said.
The $79.5 million VRIF has been established to provide financial support to the Victorian racing industry and its key stakeholders for improvements at racing and training venues and for programs designed to further stimulate industry growth and development.
The Coalition Government has committed $200,000 to the project with GRV and the Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association jointly contributing the remaining amount.