Environmental consultants have begun to scope out the prospective redevelopment of an area that includes the spiritual home of Summernats.
Exhibition Park in Canberra, or EPIC, will undergo site investigations from Cardno - alongside a slab of land bounded by Flemington Road, Old Well Station Road, Morriset Road and Well Station Drive that's part of the new suburb of Kenny - as part of a push to create density near the Gungahlin light rail corridor.
The 70-hectare showground is also home to the National Folk Festival and Royal Canberra Show and will this year host Groovin The Moo.
Tender documents state the government will undertake "urban renewal planning feasibility" on EPIC, Kenny and surrounds over the next two years "to inform and assist [the ACT] government to consider the future of these sites".
The investigation will "determine the suitability of the land for development, including identification of any constraints," the documents read.
"Urban renewal is a priority of the ACT government. Urban renewal will drive economic activity and with appropriate public investment, will improve the liveability of our city for all Canberrans.
"The Urban Renewal Division [is yet to determine] the vision and the type of development that will occur on the site. However, this may include mixed used residential, commercial, and educational."
It's unclear what would happen to the events currently hosted on the site.
A government spokesman also said the brief was for preliminary investigations and no decisions had been made on the redevelopment of the area.
The site investigation would involve examining past uses of the land and identifying historic sources of possible contamination. The Planning Directorate has asked for early warnings if environmental constraints are identified.
The territory flagged the prospect of building 8000 new homes on the area it has described as the "northern investigation area" last March, as part of a plan to allow an extra 37,000 dwellings along the stage one light rail route.
Building height limits will be increased across the urban renewal precinct, in some places up to 48 metres, as part of a new gateway strategy.
A draft amendment to the National Capital Plan to allow this is out for consultation until March 4, although the variation does not include changes to zoning.
A redevelopment of EPIC also formed part of the part of the leaked business case for light rail stage one, which spoke of a suburban business park, with "large campus-style uses", university and technology facilities, "hotel or serviced accommodation, private hospitals, place of worship (for example, Hillsong) and indoor recreational facilities".
Then-development minister Simon Corbell said it might be possible to leave EPIC where it was, "rationalising" the land and accommodating the extra development around it.
Kenny, which will be built to the north of EPIC and south-east of Harrison, is listed on the ACT government's indicative land release program for 2020-21 and 2021-22.
And while the "northern investigation area" from the gateway plan also included the racecourse, it is not a part of the Cardno survey as it is private land.
However the Canberra Racing Board has signalled it will consider redeveloping part of the race track site, potentially on the corner of Randwick and Flemington roads, and further along Randwick Road. The track would likely stay where it is, Canberra Racing chief executive Peter Stubbs said last year.
Seventy per cent of new homes in Canberra will come from urban infill, according to the ACT government's new planning strategy, with 12 new dwellings needed a day to meet future population demands.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said last year that Canberra needed to contain its urban sprawl in order to protect the "unique bush and grassland environments that surround our city.
"If we want to protect what is unique about Canberra, if we want to maintain the great natural setting that our community values, then we need to focus instead on our CBD, our town centres and dedicated major transport corridors to accommodate more of our city's future growth," Mr Barr said.
Large parts of Kenny will not be able to be developed because they are home to critically endangered woodland and the striped legless lizard.
There's also a risk building homes in Kenny will exacerbate flooding issues on Flemington Road.