The short-term future of the Stawell Gift has been secured, with the state government pledging $1.22 million over four years to support the iconic footrace.
As part of the funding package, a new committee of management will be formed, consisting of members of the Stawell Athletic Club, state government representatives, the Northern Grampians Shire Council, the Victorian Athletic League and independent experts.
A transitional model will oversee this year's event.
Stawell Athletic Club president Neil Blizzard said organisers had been in talks with the government since it was first reported the SAC rejected an initial government funding offer last year.
"It's been a very, very long process but it's been a process that from the word go to the word end that has been aiming for the same direction, which was to get the government to come on board in these uncertain times with commercial sponsors," he said.
"There were a few talks that we had that are on hold at the moment because a lot of companies wanted to know that the government had committed before they did too.
"Now it's going to be huge, opening up those conversations again."
Fears of the demise of the 142-year-old race were raised last year after the Stawell Athletic Club knocked back a government funding plan amid concerns over proposed changes to the governance of the event.
The government initially offered $280,000 to support the 2020 Stawell Gift, granted the SAC adopted a new recommended operating model and made significant changes to commercial, governance and non-racing elements of the race.
"The (SAC) committee is onside. Initially, I think it was hard for them because there was a little bit of unknown in what was being said," Mr Blizzard said.
"It was about getting clarity and direction and working through it. It's wasn't an easy process for the committee or the government.
"There's never been a doubt on the ability of the Stawell Athletic Club to run the event. It's been nearly 140 years. You could go back through history, and probably they have made some mistakes, but there's no doubt they can run the event."
Prizemoney for this year's Gift will be maintained at $40,000 for both the men's and women's events, while the government's commitment has seen Channel Seven confirm its broadcasting agreement for the next three years.
The Northern Grampians Shire Council will commit $150,000 and annual support towards maintaining the race's home, Central Park.
"We are thrilled that the Stawell Athletics Club has made the decision to accept this generous offer from the Victorian Government to secure the future of the Gift," Northern Grampians Shire Council mayor Cr Murray Emerson said.
Mr Blizzard praised Council's work in preparing Central Park for competition.
"These guys produce the most amazing athletics field you could ever look at," Mr Blizzard said. "The work that the (council) groundstaff do, they take a nice oval and turn it into an absolute pristine, elite running surface.
"You could go to so many places in the world and not see what those guys produce. I'm proud to work with them."
Tickets for the 2020 Stawell Gift went on sale in February, with Mr Blizzard confident the allure of Australia's richest footrace will attract visitors.
"I think there is a huge interest in the Gift...There are not many events that are 140 years old, it's older than the modern Olympics," Mr Blizzard said.
"I think there's a little bit of the mystery about it too. About who's injured, who's doing this, who's running and who's in form
"For me, its when you come to the ground, stand there and look around. Something comes over, you become part of the Gift. It's amazing, really."