Cheltenham plan shipping containers as alternative accommodation | Racing | Sport

Cheltenham plan shipping containers as alternative accommodation | Racing | Sport

Cheltenham Festival is set to host a 300-capacity fan village made up of shipping containers to combat hiked up hotel prices. The village offers a similar solution to the portable hotels set up by Qatar organisers that provided an alternative fan experience at the FIFA World Cup. 

Hotel prices skyrocket when racegoers descend on jump-racing’s biggest event at Cheltenham in March. The famous festival inflates prices for hotel stays during the week’s racing – leaving fans being forced to pay huge sums to have accommodation within close proximity to the racecourse. 

But horse racing’s first fan village – based on the Cheltenham Tigers Rugby Club training pitch – is set to offer racing fans a more affordable place to stay. The foldable cabins, built on site, are priced from £950 for a minimum five-night stay in a twin room.

And the designs resemble the units used to house fans in Qatar who visited the Middle East from around the world, albeit perhaps more appealing. Each temporary facility includes beds, hanging units, and plug sockets and they are designed to stop some racegoers being priced out of attending the iconic festival. 

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Twin, quad and en-suite rooms are being offered with food and drink available for guests at the rugby clubhouse. The rooms have also been used at Glastonbury and Download festivals and are being promoted as a cheaper alternative to hotels and B&Bs in and around Cheltenham.

Brandon Weston, the managing director of co-organisers Cube Modular, hopes the fan village will prove a solution to Cheltenham Festival’s growing accomodation problem.

“We wanted to offer something which was a bit more cost-effective,” he said, as per the Racing Post. “You get a nice, warm comfortable bed and a shared facility within that village. It’s a great location and we feel it offers something different and a great solution.


“The future benefits will come from expanding the offering, enhancing the experience and bringing the (overhead) costs down. This year is about proving the concept and if we can do it at Cheltenham, why can’t we do it at Aintree, Epsom or other racecourses? It’ll be interesting to see how it’s received.”

Co-organiser Oliver Williams, managing director of StayLets, believes the innovative racing fan village offers both a practical and sustainable solution for spectators at the 2023 edition of the festival.

“This is adventurous and nobody has done anything like this, but our intention is to deliver it and use it to offer further opportunities,” he said. “From an environmental point of view, it’s sustainable too. If we sold out we’d make only a small profit, maybe five per cent, but we’re doing it because we know it will work and believe it’s a really good idea.”

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