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Melb Oaks Day "Could Move To Twilight Timeslot"
Melbourne's traditional Oaks Day (on the Thursday, 2 days after the Melbourne Cup) "could be moved to a semi-twilight timeslot in a bid to arrest a sharp dive in attendance," reported The Herald-Sun. Changing the format of the Spring Carnival's Ladies' Day "was raised at the recent Victoria Racing Club strategy meeting". VRC chief executive Dale Monteith said "if there was to be a major change to the starting time of Oaks Day, it would not be made until next year at the earliest". However he confirmed: "We are looking at the possibility. It's something we're investigating. We know for a fact that people don't come until after 12 o'clock on Oaks Day. It is a work day (Thursday) & people don't get half-days off as readily since the GFC (global financial crisis)." Monteith added another consideration was "the train service, given the last race coincided with peak hour for city commuters". The 1st race on Oaks Day last year was at 11.10am & the last at 5.10pm. In 2004 the meeting drew 110,677 (only 5,000 below the Melbourne Cup day crowd) "but from that peak the attendance for the 3rd day of the VRC Spring Carnival has plunged each year"; last year the crowd was 75,088.