Christchurch puts lid on Cup Week drinking

A booze bus (Simon Wong/Newshub.)
A booze bus (Simon Wong/Newshub.)

The biggest week on the racing calendar in Christchurch has kicked off at Riccarton.

However, Cup Week will be a little different this year, with strict new rules around drinking.

It's the not-so-glamorous side of Cup Week, and it's drunken scenes on Cup Day last year that organisers are fed up with.

"One of the principal issues that we identified is that we had quite a number of people coming onto the track who'd pre-loaded," says Canterbury Jockey Club's Jeff McCall.

So they're taking a hard stance, cracking down on excessive drinking and anti-social behaviour.

The message is simple - turn up excessively drunk and you won't be allowed in.

"What it does is it ensures that everyone who comes here is in safe environment, an environment in which they will enjoy themselves; we don't have the few ruining it for the majority," Mr McCall says.

BYO is no longer allowed, and entry has been capped at 18,000 people.

Security this year has nearly doubled, with 262 staff members rostered to work on Cup Day, including 20 duty managers from local bars who'll assess levels of intoxication.

"We're not the party police; we're wanting people to come along have a great day, enjoy themselves and enjoy themselves throughout the evening and be safe," says Taskforce's Chris Casserley.

They're hoping fans will be enjoying themselves without too much of the horsing around we saw at the Melbourne Cup.