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Addington Raceway planning for a Level 1 New Zealand Trotting Cup in November

Addington Raceway will have reduced capacity and socially-distanced tables at its premier harness racing event, the IRT NZ Trotting Cup, in November.

The scene at Addington Raceway Source: Twitter/ Addington Raceway

Organisers are already selling tickets for the event, banking on a shift to Alert Level One by race day.

Addington Raceway Chief Executive Brian Thompson said if there was a return to stricter alert levels, all tickets would be refunded.

“We are planning for Level One, we believe Christchurch needs an excuse to celebrate with their friends and family, and that’s what Cup Day is all about,” he said. 

Two of the largest zones, the Lindauer Lawn and the Public Village would have 30 per cent fewer tickets available, in order to allow for more space within the venue.

Safety measures would be taken, such as hand sanitiser stations and no walk-in attendees to ensure punters felt “safe and comfortable”.

Thompson said it’s the first time in the event’s history restrictions have been put in place. 

The A&P Show, the other major headline event of NZ Cup and Show Week. was cancelled in May due to the pandemic. It is the first time since World War II that the agricultural show has been cancelled.

The week-long festival normally pours millions of dollars into the Canterbury economy, a figure that will be dramatically reduced this year.