With confirmed community transmission of the Omicron variant sending the nation into a more restricted environment, this will be a very different 2022 NZCIS Wellington Cup event on Saturday 29 January. As noted last week, it is the intention of the Wellington Racing Club to continue to safely host as many people as possible within the COVID-19 guidelines in force on the day of the event.
Racing Minister Grant Robertson confirmed on Sunday that sporting events could continue under the red traffic light system, with multiple separate spaces of up to 100 people in attendance. We’re working through the logistical exercise of adjusting our plans to switch to table service for food and drink, with distinct entrances, security, amenities and totes for each pod of 100 guests. Our aim is to ensure that patrons are still able to enjoy the legendary raceday hospitality, noting that things will be very different to the usual Wellington Cup experience.
Sponsors, pre-booked hospitality guests, current Wellington Racing Club members and racehorse owners will receive first priority as we work through the updated operating conditions. Some guests will be relocated into other spaces to align with COVID-Safe density requirements, and unfortunately not all ticket holders will now be able to be accommodated at the venue. We’ll be in direct contact with those who are impacted by this change, noting there may be some options appear during the week as we finalise numbers in the various spaces. We’ll also be in touch with all hospitality guests in the next couple of days on a space-by-space basis, providing updated details relevant to your specific experience on Saturday.
300 reserved spaces will be available in addition to reserved hospitality packages on a “first in first served” basis. These are available to WRC members and racehorse owners. All guests are required to pre-register with all numbers to be confirmed by 4pm Thursday. Please do not be offended if you turn up on the day without having registered and are denied entry, as it is a legal requirement for the type of event we are operating. To ensure we can safely cater for all attendees, it will be necessary to pre-order and prepay for food in some areas. With table service needing additional resource in the kitchen and on the floor, catering partners are having to pull out all the stops in terms of staffing and require certainty to be able to meet service expectations. Some outdoor areas will be serviced by gourmet food trucks, who will again be having to adjust to a table-service model.
Just a reminder that the always-popular Fashion in the Field will not be hosted this weekend, and all guests and staff must be at least double-vaccinated to be able to gain entry into the venue. We will also be scanning vaccine passes and checking photo ID.