World News – UA – ‘Cultural elitism’ behind the end of Adelaide 500 Supercars race, says Labor Party

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The South Australian government’s decision to cancel the Adelaide 500 Supercars race has sparked calls for new events to replace it, as recriminations begin over its decline

The South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) announced last night that it will not renew a contract with the Supercars Championship to host the event in 2021

He blamed the coronavirus pandemic as well as the « long-term decline of the motorsport fan »

The event saw its lowest attendance in 17 years in February, when the pandemic was already on the horizon

Former Supercar driver and five-time championship winner Mark Skaife said he was « absolutely upset » by the decision

« This is one of Australia’s biggest sporting events and, at a time when hospitality and tourism are shattered by the pandemic, it is a government decision that is extraordinary, » Skaife said at ABC Radio Adelaide

Prime Minister Steven Marshall said the state government accepted SATC’s recommendation to cancel the event

All the money the government contributed to the event would go to other raffle cards, he said

« The Supercars racing budget has been well north of $ 10 million for a long time, » he said

« This cost is increasing and it is no longer the best return in terms of visits to South Australia or jobs in South Australia »

« As we learned more about COVID-19 and how we can handle COVID-19 events, we realized very quickly that it would no longer be viable in 2021 and, frankly, not viable in the future, « he said

However, Director of Public Health Nicola Spurrier said SA Health had not been approached by Adelaide 500 organizers about holding a COVID-free event

« We have a process that we are following and, for example, we did that with the bay at Birdwood, but in this case we did not have an approach from the Supercars on a COVID management plan » said Dr Spurrier

Business SA chief executive and former Adelaide mayor Martin Haese said the city would need a new event to keep the economy growing

« Like many South Australians, it is always disappointing to hear that a major event will no longer be on the calendar, » said M Haese

« This is disappointing news, but we also suggest that maybe it opens the door for a new event in South Australia – maybe something like Formula E motorsport »

Australian Hotels Association SA chief executive Ian Horne, who also sits on the SATC board, said the cancellation would have a « multi-million dollar impact » on the hotel industry. hosting, but that its importance had diminished since its creation in 1999

He hopes more funding for other events will be announced in next month’s state budget

« We expect every dollar in savings to be invested in new major events and we expect them to make a significant contribution in terms of bid funds, » he said

Mark Skaife, who is still involved in the competition, said the state government asked to move the event at the end of the year and the organizers agreed, so it was a surprise to hear that it was completely canceled

« I would love him [Prime Minister Steven Marshall] to reconsider the future of the event because it is so important to the Australian sporting landscape »

Supercar driver and 2016 Adelaide Race winner Nick Percat said the Prime Minister’s reasons for dropping out of the event did not add up, saying the warm weather had driven fans away in 2019

« He just used COVID as a scapegoat You know the sport for us is growing – all the numbers have gone up in previous years, » he said

« We had a race in South Africa recently at Tailem Bend, Bathurst was just a few weeks ago, the Formula 1 Melbourne Grand Prix – an international event – is happening next year

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« This is a direct decision by Steven Marshall – of cultural elitism – to shut down an event that appeals to thousands of South Australians »

He said that according to the government’s own figures, the race created 435 full-time jobs and filled 90,000 « nights of accommodation »

« This is still the biggest source of revenue for our hosting providers as an event compared to anything we do in South Australia, » he said

The prime minister’s electorate is in the eastern suburbs, the area where residents are most affected due to road closures caused by the race

« This is not about what the Prime Minister of South Australia or the Minister of Tourism likes, » he said

He said there was no reason for Supercars to be surprised since the government had raised the issue of sustainability since being elected in 2018

SATC chief executive Rodney Harrex said events like the State of Origin Rugby League, which will be held next Wednesday at Adelaide Oval, provide a better return on investment than the Supercars

« What we’re going to do is look at these events that we can replace them with, » he said

« The funding we have invested in the Adelaide 500 will be spent on a series of events that can generate many benefits »

For 17 weeks a year, a real construction site goes up and down in the Parklands of Adelaide and turns the east of the city into a carnival for the oil tankers

He said the Bend Motorsport Park, in Tailem Bend, about 100 kilometers southeast of Adelaide, was « an incredible infrastructure » that would continue to host Supercar races for local fans.

« We put a lot of effort into really building this event – for motorsport fans – but what I would say is that we have the Bend and it really is the birthplace of motorsport in South Australia, « he said

He said the cost of constructing the stands in Adelaide Park was a « major risk » during the coronavirus pandemic

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and BBC World Service which is copyrighted and may not be reproduced

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Clipsal 500 Adelaide, Supercars Championship, South Australia

News from around the world – UA – « Cultural elitism » behind the end of the Adelaide 500 Supercars race, according to the Labor Party


SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com

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