Bankstown Paceway – Everyone Welcome
The Bankstown Paceway is an important institution in the Canterbury Bankstown region. With 20 race meetings a year, it is the place to be for harness racing enthusiasts. The well-established Friday night trots offer patrons a fantastic experience but there are so many other events to enjoy too!
With function rooms, full restaurant, regular markets and more, Bankstown Paceway is a great entertainment destination for everyone within the community.
Over 50 years of history
The Paceway was officially opened in 1964 when they held their first formal race meet. For many years there were around 350 horses that regularly trained on the track. It was a highly regarded site and the stables were extremely popular within the racing community.
The first development was completed by a group of trainers, drivers, owners and other people connected to the harness racing industry. They volunteered their time and skills to build the original structures, as they wanted to make the Paceway a professional location.
Many local identities also assisted with the build, such as ‘Mr Big of Bankstown’ – Ray Fitzpatrick – who utilised his earthmoving machinery to transport the dirt needed to lay on the track.
Development and activities
In 1990, the Paceway secured a loan from Harness Racing NSW and the organisation embarked on a new development. The ‘Phil Lopez Stand’ was built, named after the mayor of Bankstown at that time. Neville Wran opened the grandstand which is still the major structure on site today.
The council land is classified as Zone 8 Open Space and is utilised for a wide range of activities in addition to the regular harness racing. The Paceway has a lease on the land and is hoping to extend it past the current August 2031 expiry date.
To maintain their strong relationship with council, the Paceway often hosts community events, such as Council E-Waste or Chemical Collection days. Plus is it also offered as a training location for specialist industries such as Fire and Rescue NSW. The unique structures are ideal for running rooftop or narrow stairwell rescue drills.
The popular Bargain Bazaar – Sunday markets have been running for over 25 years. With both new products and second-hand sections, it is a great place to hunt for something special. Free entry means many locals visit regularly.
Venue and entertainment options
The Paceway is available for a wide variety of functions, such as:
– Corporate events – hire the whole venue or a single room
– Charity events
– Private events – 21st birthdays, engagement parties or wedding receptions
– Awards nights
– Graduation ceremonies
– Community celebrations – end of Eid, Pilgrimage to Mecca
They also offer events in collaboration with their regular race meets. For businesses they can ‘Host a Night at the Trots’ where the President room is open for up to 100 people. Dinner, drinks and mobile rides can be included in the package.
Employment opportunities at the Paceway are varied, from administration roles to hospitality, and of course racing related positions. They are always looking for interested staff and encourage people to approach them if they are enthusiastic about the industry.
Whilst they have numerous sponsors and are affiliated with many local clubs, there are also advertising opportunities available for local businesses that wish to have branded signage around the track. Individual packages can be created to suit different budgets.
Everyone is welcome
Ann Wait, Secretary Manager of the Paceway tells us,
“We love to see people down here on a Friday night, enjoying a night out with their family. We want to make it accessible to everyone.
It doesn’t cost a lot of money and everyone from the community is welcome. This is a safe space and we hope that with more people coming along we can increase the number of races next year.”
The next race meet is Friday 23rd November when the Canterbury Bankstown City Council Cup will be run. Entry to the races is free and the whole family is welcome.
With food trucks, kiosk and the Champion’s restaurant, there are plenty of meal options to choose from. Plus, for the children, there are always free face painting and jumping castle activities to keep them happily entertained. Also performing on the night will be a group from the local Condell Park dance school, Bollard School of Dance.
To find out more about upcoming events visit the Paceway’s website www.bankstownpaceway.com.au or phone 9708 4111
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