Victoria's racing minister concedes the backlash to his initial Cox Plate call factored into the decision to deprive the Melbourne Cup of a crowd.
The entire four-day racing carnival will be crowd-free, with connections unable to attend Flemington for Tuesday's race that stops the nation.
It came a week after the state government - citing health advice - made the call to allow owners on course for the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley before quickly backflipping after widespread criticism.
Despite COVID-19 lockdown restrictions drastically easing in Melbourne on Wednesday, Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula confirmed there would be no spectator concessions for Flemington.
He admitted it wasn't a question of event safety, given the course is capable of hosting a 100,000-plus crowd, but rather if it meshed with other rules for pubs, restaurants and weddings.
"The judgment we've made, certainly informed by the (Cox Plate) reaction of the community, is that it wouldn't conform with community expectations for there to be a thousand or more people ... next week," Mr Pakula told reporters on Wednesday.
In better news for cricket fans, the Victorian government announced up to 125,000 spectators will be able to watch the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.
The crowd is set to be capped at 25,000 per day - a quarter of the MCG's capacity - but there is scope for that to be revised, with Mr Pakula describing it as an "estimate".
"We've been really clear with Cricket Australia and the MCG that we'll make final decisions about numbers closer to the day, depending on the epidemiological situation that abides at the time," he said.
"At this stage, that's what we believe would be the safe and appropriate number per day here at the MCG."
Mr Pakula said it was "unlikely" the figure would rise, although there was a caveat.
"I wouldn't rule out that if things go exceedingly well between now and Christmas that some conversations are possible," he said.
The crowd plan came as the state government confirmed a new agreement between the Melbourne Cricket Club and CA that ties the Boxing Day Test to the MCG for another three years, until 2022.
This year's Test against India will be the 31st time that the MCG has hosted the Boxing Day fixture.
Mr Pakula was "never very concerned" the devastating second wave of COVID-19 would mean that Victoria lost the Boxing Day Test to a rival state.
"Melburnians have been incredibly resilient," he said.
"They've sacrificed a lot ... and to have our wonderful MCG with people back in it, hosting one of the great sporting events on the global sporting schedule ... I think will be wonderful for Melbourne's spirits."
The city's next major sports event will be the 2021 Australian Open, but Mr Pakula said discussions with Tennis Australia were primarily centred on logistical obstacles rather than spectators.
"We're talking to them about the possibility of some sort of crowds at the Open," Mr Pakula said.
"But, quite frankly, getting those logistics, in terms of getting people into Australia and into Melbourne, is the focus of our conversations."
Australian Associated Press