Melbourne Cup Suffers Lowest Turnout Since 1995
The Melbourne Cup has always been the 'Race that Stops the Nation'.
Millions of people stop what they're doing at 3pm on the first Tuesday of November every year and scream and shout as a bunch of horses run around Flemington Racecourse. People dress up in some incredible and outrageous outfits and everyone always delight in seeing just how boozy some race goers get by the time the afternoon is done.
But it seems like the Cup is losing its appeal.
Yesterday's big day was the lowest turnout at Flemington since 1995 and the showings on TV weren't much better.
Turnstiles recorded around 81,400 people at the racetrack yesterday to watch Vow and Declare win the coveted Cup. That's compared to 83,000 last year and 102,000 in 2015.
People watching from the comfort of their home or seeing it at the pub were also down, with 1.44 million metro viewers tuning in. Compare it to the peak of 2002 when 2.5 million people watched the race, it's a big drop.
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In addition to foot traffic, betting companies like Tabcorp reported lower numbers than usual, according to news.com.au.
Bet Easy's chief executive Matt Tripp told The Australian: "Turnover has decreased on each of the major race days in the Melbourne spring carnival, and that has continued on Melbourne Cup Day.
"There's been a drop in the number of people having a bet on the major races themselves and this has been enough to drive down overall turnover.
"We're keen to sit down with Racing Victoria to work out how we can bring these people back."
There are loads of reasons that have probably combined to create the figures on this year's Melbourne Cup. What was clear was the loud group of people outside the racetrack and on social media protesting the annual event.
The hashtag #NupToTheCup went viral from the early hours until well past dinner time, with people using it to express their resentment and disdain for the industry.
Featured Image Credit: PA