Since its makeover in 2013, The Entertainment Grounds has lived up to its new name, putting entertainment front and centre on the Coast.
Previously known as Gosford Race Club, it’s first and foremost a race track but The Entertainment Grounds also play host to myriad events from comedy to concerts.
It’s central location, size and range of facilities has made The Entertainment Grounds the Coast’s go-to destination for events and entertainment, something that was desperately needed according to The Entertainment Grounds General Manager of Hospitality and Operations David Shanahan.
“There was a lack of venues on the Central Coast that provided space to accommodate up to 10,000 people. The redevelopment meant closing this gap and creating an event precinct that could host a variety of different functions from small social gatherings and parties to weddings, large business conferences and festivals.”
Racing in Gosford goes back a long way, more than 100 years, and while horses are no longer unloaded at the train station and ridden over, the track still offers a great day of racing.
As the Coast’s answer to Rosehill or Randwick, the best part is that locals needn’t travel into town for a punt and some trackside fun.
There are around 25 race days every year and in line with the traditional racing calendar, The Entertainment Grounds come alive in spring and autumn for the seasonal racing carnivals including big outings for the Melbourne Cup, Anzac Day and their annual ‘Twas the month before Christmas Race Day in late November.
This year, The Entertainment Grounds is also making Gosford a summer racing hot spot with the region’s very own Central Coast Carnival.
The Summer Series features seven races in December and January including the Gosford Guineas on December 28, the annual NYE Family Race Day on December 31 and the Gosford Cup on January 17.
What many people mightn’t realise is that the horses and jockeys that go on to race in the likes of the Magic Millions and Melbourne Cup probably had their start at a regional track such as Gosford.
In fact, Hay List was trained at Gosford and went on to Group 1 racing glory at Flemington and Randwick, including a few close calls behind Black Caviar.
Just like Flemington or Randwick, the Gosford track offers fashionable fun on race days.
There are VIP marquees with DJs and beauty bars, and anyone can enter Fashions on the Field.
Whether you’re in members or enjoying the view from the lawn or grandstand, you’ll find magnificent millinery, fabulous frocks and haute hats on display.
It’s as much about making the most of the opportunity to get dressed to the nines as having fun with friends and family.
In addition to general horsing around, race days offer family friendly entertainment such as rides, jumping castles and face painting.
Because laughter really is the best medicine, The Entertainment Grounds is also the Coast’s comedy capital.
Sydney Comedy Club hosts regular laugh fests headlined by hilarious comedians like Gary Bradbury, Christina Van Look and Gary Eck.
Keep an eye on the website for the next gig.
The Entertainment Grounds also host regular markets with the Sunday Gosford City Farmers market offering a chance to pick up some farm fresh produce, as well as artisanal goodies like chocolate, cheese and coffee.
The food fiesta that is the Aussie Nightmarkets heads to the venue on the first Friday of the month. From pizza to paella, curry to churros and dumplings to donuts, the variety of street food on offer is mind-blowing.
You might also attend a concert, expo, themed dinner, Christmas party or wedding at The Entertainment Grounds.
Just about anything goes, and David says they are always open to fresh, new ideas.
It’s why they transformed a provincial race club into the aptly named Entertainment Grounds.
Coastal Chic Tip: Become a member to get great discounts (like half price comedy tix), freebies and exclusive access on race days and other events, as well as free entry to every Mariners game this season.