April 1, 2013
Formula One fans celebrated the 60th anniversary of the first Grand Prix at Albert Park last month.
This milestone has come alongside the revelations of the events cost, which have amplified debate surrounding the Grand Prix. It was the first time since the Kennett government brought the race back to Melbourne in 1996 that the annual hosting fee of $57 million was made public following a leak in January.
It also comes just before negotiation of a contract extension is due to get under way in the second half of this year. The current contract expires in 2015.
Given that we host the Australian Open, Melbourne Cup and Australian Grand Prix, we love to boast we are Australia’s sporting capital.
Central to the Grand Prix debate is its impact beyond Australian shores. Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott says more than any other sporting event the race cements Melbourne as an international city.
“The Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix remains the jewel in the crown of Victoria’s major events calendar,” said Mr Westacott.
“There is no other annual sporting event that compares to Formula 1 when it comes to positioning a city on the global stage.”
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