Australian Grand Prix here to stay

The Radical Roar Rookie

By The Radical, The Radical is a Roar Rookie

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    As temperatures soar in the ‘garden state’ known as Victoria, and with the Australian Open in full swing, so come the obligatory calls for the Grand Prix to be axed.

    The old, “why have the Grand Prix when we have the tennis?” moan has firmly established itself as the annual flavour of the month.

    Who hasn’t heard, “Last year 686,006 attended the tennis but only 313,700 went to the Grand Prix, how can this be justified?”

    Apart from the notion this aggregate total represents almost spot on 1,000,000 attendances for Victoria across two international events, there is one minor oversight.

    The Grand Prix event lasts a quarter the duration of the Australian Open, yet using the provided 2012 figures as a barometer, 45.73% of the Open figures still flock through the gates.

    Imagine if the Grand Prix was a two week spectacle?

    A quick bit of maths shows us if the Grand Prix were as long as the Open, One million two hundred and fifty-four thousand eight hundred would attend (4 x 313,700 = 1,254,800).

    Allowing for a more than generous 30 percent depreciation in dint of the wider duration, this figure falls to 878 400, still nearly 200,000 more than the Open.

    For the man who speaks only in football, this represents two AFL grand finals, which the government complains is a drain on their coffers.

    It could be described as an inconvenient truth to the common critic. 878,400 is a figure which could serve as the basis to Al Gore’s controversial 2006 documentary bearing the same name, it sends shivers down the spines of individuals such as The Honourable Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.

    There will always be the “but it costs us 30 million dollars a year” contention, but what the Grand Prix offers is priceless in what it recoups for the state of Victoria, and by extension, the nation.

    Drivers, personnel and journalists love the event, most rating it among the top three on the calendar. This too is dismissed by those who don’t see the spectacle for what it is.

    Then there are the hundreds of jobs – some part-time, others permanent – which are created, with many individuals employed solely for the Grand Prix weekend. The very livelihoods of these people depend on the continued existence of the race.

    Let’s get one thing straight, the Australian Open is a magnificent event and this is not a criticism of tennis. It is simply being used, such is its stature, as a direct comparison between a great event and another hugely unappreciated great event.

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • January 25th 2013 @ 9:34am
      Australian Rules said | January 25th 2013 @ 9:34am | ! Report

      Well-presented take on the issue Radical.

    • January 25th 2013 @ 10:01am
      Johnno said | January 25th 2013 @ 10:01am | ! Report

      Funny the same knockers will be whinging when we lose the grand prix, so let’s just shut up and keep this great race. f1 here to stay mate.

    • January 25th 2013 @ 10:37am
      Kebab Con. said | January 25th 2013 @ 10:37am | ! Report

      Have always loved Formula One. And it coming to Melbourne was a dream come true.

      Worked as a casual at the first three events in the 1990s with Spotless. Got to see and do it all, including spending a lot of time in the pits and getting to say hello to the great Schumacher(nice bloke to put up with me annoying him might I add). Paid to go on a bunch of occasions to race day in the general admission areas.

      But, I am also a citizen of the state and want the best for my state in what we have to face on a daily basis. Health, and the closure of hospital beds should not occur at all. Transport and Education should also be priorities. A Grand Prix that is costing us so much, same goes with the tennis and all these stadiums down on the Yarra are luxuries.

      Fingers crossed a fee to Bernie Ecclestone will be reasonable and stop allowing him to screw us and they cut back on the costs of building the circuit every year, like moving the race permantly to a proper racing circuit. As it stands today, if I was running Victoria I would dump the event. It is a shocker of a deal we have.

    • January 25th 2013 @ 10:51am
      Tlux said | January 25th 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report

      Also, F1 cars are badass!

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