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Thursday, May 30, 2024


THE South Australian Government’s race to return the Adelaide 500 to the Supercars calendar in December is in full swing.

Tenders are this week being opened for a range of key services and infrastructure required to bring the event back to life.

One of Supercars’ most celebrated races since its inception in 1999, the Adelaide 500 was killed off by the Liberal Government in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Labor picked up the cause and ran with its return on December 1-4 this year as a key promise in its ultimately successful March election campaign.

The new government has announced that Thursday’s 2022-23 State Budget will include $18 million to run the event, while an additional $3 million has been set aside to buy back infrastructure.

A fire sale of Adelaide 500 assets was conducted last year and resulted in a number of items – such as overpasses, barriers and scaffolding – going to The Bend Motorsport Park in Tailem Bend.

Tenders opening this week include that for the supply of temporary grandstands, hospitality platforms, portable toilets, pedestrian overpasses, on-ground marquees, fencing, security services, track resurfacing, grounds maintenance and various hospitality services.

Premier Peter Malinauskas stressed the economic benefits of the event, which in 2019 was measured at $45.9 million and 435 full-time jobs.

“Momentum is building for the return of the Adelaide 500 and the issuing of tenders is yet another tangible sign the race is coming back,” he said.

“This is also a great opportunity for local businesses to tender for work, which will help support jobs and generate local economic activity.

“That’s why this event is so much more than a car race – it’s a generator of jobs and a driver of economic activity.”

Mark Skaife scored victory in 2003. Pic: an1images.com

The South Australian Motor Sport Board has been re-established to run the event, headed by chief executive Mark Warren who previously held the role from 2010 to 2016.

‘It’s hard to believe it’s only six months until the great race returns,” added Warren.

“We’re working to a tight timeframe and we can’t afford to waste a second, which is why it’s exciting to begin the process of issuing tenders.

“This also presents a massive boost to the local events industry, who have been starved of major events over the past couple of years.”

Support categories, musical acts and an on-sale date for tickets are all yet to be announced, while the event remains absent from the calendar on the Supercars website.

Supercars has however affirmed that the event’s place as the season-closer on December 1-4 will be made official and tickets put on sale once all paperwork has been finalised, likely by next month.

The SA Government has promised a major music act for the event, stressing the importance of the off-track entertainment to the Adelaide 500’s overall appeal and success.

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