Tabcorp Park at Melton has started to enforce their policy regarding patrons bringing food into the racecourse. A story made the papers about a father bringing his 4 year old to the track and an amount of food the security guard found over the limit (Racetrack officials say minor snacks and a sandwich per person is acceptable; platters and hot foods are not).
The explanation for the policy is simple, the track which offers free admission and parking claims their some of their revenue comes from food and beverage sales. The response from racegoers down under make the same arguments as people in North America make; the food is too expensive; the quality of the food is no good.
So why do I bring this up? As in down under, many tracks, depend on food revenue to make a profit (or reduce their losses), the same way movie theaters depend on food sales to make money (surprisingly, movie theaters make very little from ticket sales). The problem is disregarding the quality of food, if you go with a group of people, it can cost a fortune to fee them at the track. The question is, can there be a middle ground where people can bring a reasonable amount of food to the track, yet protect the tracks revenue stream from food and beverage sales?
Let's not kid ourselves, if not about a father with a cute daughter of 4 complaining to the newspaper, this story would never have never seen the light of day. I think track officials at Melton have found the balance. You want to bring a sandwich with you to the track, go right ahead. Anything more than a sandwich is not acceptable. I would suggest tracks having family days where restrictions would be limited to no hot food. But tracks have the responsibility to keep the cost of food as reasonable as possible.