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Auckland looks at hosting major V8 street race

MEDIA RELEASE


7 November 2003


Auckland looks at hosting major V8 street race

Auckland City is investigating hosting a round of the Asia Pacific V8 supercar championship as a street race, starting in 2006.

The event’s governing body, AVESCO, has invited the city to bid to host the race for five years. The Pukekohe venue currently used by AVESCO will not be used after the 2005 event.

The council’s Recreation and Events Committee yesterday received a report recommending officers assess and report on the feasibility of hosting the event.

The committee’s chairperson, Councillor Scott Milne, said today the event’s likely economic impact will be at least $30 million a year.

Auckland City is talking to global event organisers, IMG, about their proposal to manage the planning, operation and promotion of the event.

IMG operate the highly successful Gold Coast Indy in Brisbane, with an economic impact of $55 million a year.

Mr Milne says IMG also promotes the Pukehoke and Gold Coast Indy – “so we’d be entering into this with a proven performer.”

IMG estimates the race will attract 150,000 spectators over three days, compared with 90,000 who now attend at Pukekohe.

The proposal recommends that the city contribute seed funding as a loan, repayable over 5 year term of the event.

“The proposal effectively means we’d have a highly experienced implementation partner who has a successful track record working with AVESCO and running events for other cities. Experts will be engaged on all engineering and safety aspects.

“It’s well worth investigating. We’d be up for seed funding and have that returned. In return the city would play host to an immensely popular event, with a $135 million, five year economic impact.

“Early indications are that Aucklanders who want to live in a vibrant city, and sports fans, would love to see it happen,“ says Mr Milne.

Route options will be considered as part of the study with Victoria Park used as the anchor.

“There are undoubtedly challenges ahead when we embark on such a project. We’ve coped well with event traffic issues before as a city when we hosted CHOGM and APEC and are experienced in hosting large events like the Volvo Ocean Race and the America’s Cup,” Mr Milne says.

“Hosting this race is a thrilling prospect for the city. Aucklanders have proven they’re great hosts for international events. Business will welcome it. Race fans definitely will. It’s well worthwhile working through all the issues. We’ve had other proposals to host the street race – but this one looks like it may deliver the greatest benefit at almost no risk. It’s well worth our attention.”

“If Auckland is to retain our title as one of the best cities in the world to live in, then it’s our responsibility to investigate these opportunities.”

Mr Milne says he’s awaiting information from officers about a timeline for completing the study.

Ends

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