Cheltenham Racecourse: Starter's orders for The Showcase
WITH the new season galloping into view, fans at Cheltenham racecourse can look forward to more space, bars, restaurants and cash machines.
Prestbury Park boss Ian Renton is preparing for a “very exciting” new season – his second in charge – after the start of a long-term £45million redevelopment took place this summer.
Ahead of The Showcase meeting on October 18 and 19, which kicks off the season, Mr Renton – Cheltenham and South West regional director for Jockey Club Racecourses – explained what race-goers can expect.
He said: “What we’ve done is the enabling work to speed up the process of the major development which starts immediately after The Festival. That has gone according to plan and the site will be cleared in the next two weeks.
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“There is now a large flat piece of land where the old boxes were in the A&R block.
“We are also trying to improve the tented village with more space and higher quality.”
Punters can also enjoy a new bar at The Open in November, boosting the number of drinks and food facilities to improve queuing times.
The number of ATMs will go up from three to seven on standard race days, with a “huge increase” planned for The Festival in March.
There are no plans in place to alter capacity numbers this season and currently no announcement as to whether numbers will be capped again at next year’s Gold Cup day in March to 67,000 to improve race-goers’ experience.
Ian added that those who had lost boxes due to the summer work would have an opportunity to appreciate better facilities in future when a new grandstand, hospitality boxes and a new Royal Box are all built.
The focus of the new development is to centre around a Parade Ring at the northern end of the racecourse.
It will include a 6,500 capacity grandstand, with bars and venues for club members, A&R members, annual members and owners and trainers.
There will also be 12 new hospitality boxes and a new Royal Box, capped by a spectacular Premium Super Club.
Major new toilets, a re-routed Horse Walk, a new plaza, a refurbished weighing room and a totally revitalised See You Then Bar are also part of the plans.
The rest of the project will continue immediately after The Festival 2014 and is due to be completed for The Festival 2016.