Turf club’s $25 million redevelopment nears finish line
NO one will be enjoying Ipswich Cup day this year more than Brett Kitching.
The Ipswich Turf Club general manager can see the finish line for the club's $25 million redevelopment after a three years waiting for it to take shape.
The newly finished Grange Lounge, which sits above steward rooms and dedicated facilities for male and female jockeys on the ground floor, is already being used.
The turf club has spent $300,000 refurbishing its existing facility next door, with the Eyeliner Lounge getting a makeover and the Thoroughbreds Lounge now complete.
Both lounges are also in use and in demand.
A restaurant will be built on the bottom level, set to open seven days a week, next to a children's entertainment centre.
It will all fall under the banner of the Events and Entertainment Centre with the bulk of the project funded by $24.8 million through the Racing Infrastructure Fund.
The refurbished track, which has struggled with drainage issues, will be ready for the first race day of the year on April 8.
New race day stalls are still months from being finished and a new car park is five weeks from completion.
Once the new stalls are finished, the old facilities will be demolished to make way for more carparking for a total of about 700 spaces.
It is an exciting step for the evolution of the Bundamba club ahead of the Ipswich Cup on June 13.
"Next Monday every lounge if full," Mr Kitching said.
"We've got four different functions on Monday. We're getting an enormous response already.
"It's looking like we'll be sold out on the grandstand side (for the Ipswich Cup) within a month."
Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said he was looking forward to attending the Ipswich Cup.
"I'm excited about what it means for the city," he said.
"This is a project the Ipswich Turf Club has been waiting a long time for.
"This centre will deliver not only to the turf club for that broader revenue and viability but significantly as a great new facility for the city.
"It's a great contribution that the club and the racing industry can make back to the city of Ipswich."