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Adelaide 500 Axed Due To Declining Fans

T
he Superloop Adelaide 500 has been discontinued by the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC), with the SATC citing COVID-19 and financial uncertainty.

The Supercars event will not take place in 2021, despite being the last on the contract, and was reportedly also axed due to a declining fanbase over recent years, with the Adelaide 500 recording an aggregate crowd of 206,000, the lowest since 2003.

SATC chief executive, Rodney Harrex, confirmed the cancellation of the event, after reports the contract for 2022 and beyond was near, with suggestions to change the event to a three-day event from a four-day event.

“South Australia is one of the premiere event locations in the nation and globe, and we will continue to invest in a range of sporting, cultural and arts events to stimulate the visitor economy,” Harrex said.

“Due to the high level of uncertainty around the ability of the event to proceed in 2021, the likely impact on the event for both the consumer and commercial market, and the long-term decline in the core motorsport fan, a decision has been made that it will not be possible to hold the race next year, and to not seek a contract for future years.

“We have been in discussions with Supercars for the majority of this year, working through possible scenarios.

“At the end of the day, with the current set of circumstances we are not in a position to deliver a sustainable, successful future for the event for next year and beyond.

“This was not an easy decision to make.

“The Superloop Adelaide 500 has been part of our event landscape since 1999.

“We have a terrific world-class motor racing facility at The Bend.

“We are very fortunate to have had significant private investment in that circuit, and we already know the motoring faithful are keen to support ongoing races there,” he said.

SATC chair, Andrew Bullock, said: “we want to thank the thousands of loyal fans, staff, officials, volunteers and suppliers who have worked on this event over the journey.”

“We also want to thank all the commercial partners and businesses who have supported the event, including naming rights partner, Superloop.

“We are committed to delivering world-class events and driving the visitor economy back to its record pre-COVID value of $8.1 billion,” Bullock said.

As part of the decision, the SATC has confirmed the funds that were due to be allocated to the Adelaide 500 “will be repurposed to secure and support a mix of ongoing and one-off events, continuing to drive visitation to – and economic benefit for – South Australia.”

The Adelaide 500 is the only event to ever be inducted into the Supercars Hall of Fame, after being the season-opener for all but two years since 2022.