The Racecourse has a long history. In 1893 the Racecourse was moved from the Galle Face to its current place, which was then an abolished cinnamon garden. The cinnamon price had fallen dramatically and the plantations were neglected, thus becoming a wild jungle area again. A racecourse is a facility for the elite and hence the surrounding area became a magnet for the rich; posh mansions were built and soon it extended to what is now known as Colombo 7 or Cinnamon Gardens.
In 1941 it became a temporary airport during World War II. Singapore had fallen into the hands of the Japanese and Colombo was the new hub for the allied planes. After the war the Racecourse was brought back to its original purpose, but the ban on gambling in 1950 led to the decline of the Racecourse. The government took over the premises. During the civil war the field was used by the Sri Lankan Air Force for landing and takeoff place for helicopters.
It was not until 2012 that the Racecourse got a new destination. Just like the Old Dutch Hospital Precinct and the Independence Square Arcade the building has become the third shopping complex, including some sports centers and restaurants, a place to relax and entertain. The field is destined to become the first international rugby stadium in Sri Lanka. The New Racecourse Shopping Complex is situated at Reid Avenue.