Curragh set to open in-field for Irish Champions Weekend
The Curragh's reduced capacity during redevelopment will be boosted by at least 1,000 people after plans were unveiled to use the in-field at the racecourse on the second day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend.
With an attendance cap of 6,000 imposed as part of the initial planning permission for the Curragh's €70m revamp, decision-makers at Irish racing's headquarters have come under fire for the decision to continue racing there during 2017 and 2018, particularly in relation to the massive restrictions for its showpiece Irish Derby and ICW fixtures.
The in-field area, which will be called The Family Friendly Enclosure, will be in operation on September 10 and will be accessible to anyone with a raceday admission ticket.
Curragh CEO Derek McGrath said of the move: "It's an effort on our side to make the Curragh even better and it's something that I feel will improve the meeting. We've been working with a restricted capacity of 6,000, but I think this will add another 1,000 at least to the capacity."
"Going back through the years, the in-field was a big part of the Curragh. Hopefully it will encourage more people to come along - we're going to put a great effort in to make this worthwhile."
Racegoers have been advised to book tickets for day two of Longines Irish Champions Weekend in advance, with the feature Comer Group International Irish St Leger one of three Group 1s on the card as well as two Group 2s and a valuable auction race.
Longines Irish Champions Weekend takes place on September 9 and 10, with day one taking place at Leopardstown.