Seven years after it was launched as V8 Supercars’ attempt to crack Sydney’s sports market, the Sydney Olympic Park street circuit event is on the way out.
V8 Supercars chief executive James Warburton announced on Tuesday the event on the streets of Homebush won’t continue as part of the championship beyond this year.
The Sydney 500 has been the season finale for every year since its inception in 2009.
At the time the event was hoped to be V8s best chance to land a showpiece event in Australia’s largest city.
Then NSW premier Nathan Rees justified a $30 million government outlay on the event saying 15,000 visitors from interstate and overseas would come to the city for the weekend.
A 2010 report from the NSW auditor-general concluded the government had failed to adequately estimate the costs of the event and the benefits of the event were not as high as expected.
Despite that report, the deal between the NSW Government and V8 Supercars was renewed for three more years in 2013. In a brief statement on Tuesday, Warburton said a new deal to continue the event hadn’t been reached.
“We are continuing discussions with Destination NSW about the best location for 2017 and beyond but we believe the time is right to move from Sydney Olympic Park,” he said.
Gosford on the NSW Central Coast has been mooted as a possible destination for the event from next year onwards.
V8 Supercars have also announced this year’s Sydney 500 will now be held on the weekend of December 2-4 to avoid a scheduling conflict with other events at the venue.