Tickets to the 2015 Melbourne Cup Carnival go on sale from 9am today (Monday) through Ticketek, the earliest tickets have gone on sale in the Victoria Racing Club’s (VRC) 150 year history.

VRC Acting Chief Executive Julian Sullivan said the VRC is offering early bird prices to provide patrons with better value for money and grow attendance to the four-day racing, fashion and food extravaganza.

“This year we are not only giving customers a better value experience at Flemington but allowing interstate and international visitors more time to book their flights and accommodation while at the same time securing a great value ticket option,” Mr Sullivan said.

The early bird offer, valid for all general admission tickets purchased until Friday 16 October 2015, will cut almost 15 per cent from the average ticket price over the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival (ticket prices subject to Government approval).

Tickets for children under 16 accompanied by an adult remain free—rare for a major event.

Together with General Admission areas, reserved seating and The Precinct, a premium non-VRC Member Enclosure, corporate hospitality and dining are also on sale with many options expected to sell out months in advance.

“Market research showed that our customers want all hospitality and ticket options on sale at the one time and we have listened to them,” Mr Sullivan said.

“Ticket prices have not increased in three years and with the early bird offer, and our significant investment in offerings for GA racegoers, including free wifi, the James Boag’s Premium Celebration Deck and the Schweppes Flemington Fling Bar, the Melbourne Cup Carnival has never been better value.

“We are proud to work with Ticketek for a third consecutive year, offering racegoers a simple and seamless ticketing experience.”

Ticketek offers a range of convenient methods to purchase tickets, including through its mobile site and iPhone app. Racegoers will be able to select mobile ticket delivery to receive tickets via SMS, and will simply need to present their mobile phones at Flemington for entry.

Tickets to September’s Sofitel Girls’ Day Out and Turnbull Stakes Day presented by Yellowglen in October, both key racedays in the lead up to the Melbourne Cup Carnival, are also on sale.

The changes are supported by a bold new marketing campaign, revealed in the Herald Sun on Saturday (14 March).

The four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival, highlighted by the $6.2 million Emirates Melbourne Cup, is Australia’s original major event. Celebrating the best of what Melbourne has to offer—food and wine, sport, business and fashion in a social setting—the Carnival attracts more than 325,000 racegoers to Flemington each year, injecting more than $360 million into the Victorian economy and more than $700 million nationally.