28 Jun Increased investment activity for Australian motor sport venues
It is great to see some movement around the strategic investment in motor sport complexes right across Australia.
Over the last 20 years or so, we have sadly seen a gradual decline in both number and quality of motor sport complexes around the country. Largely driven out by urban sprawl, various facilities have either closed or had their operating hours severely reduced. Of the 300 odd venues in Australia, the only circuits which come to mind as examples of venues that have undergone significant investment of facilities are Phillip Island, Barbagallo and Sydney Motorsport Park.
In 2015, CAMS commissioned a report by Ernst and Young to establish the value of Motor sport to the Australian economy (http://docs.cams.com.au/Public%20Documents/CAMS_EYReport_201014_LR.pdf) . The report backed up what those of us in the industry know:
- Motorsport is the 4th most watched sport in Australia, only behind Australian Rules, NRL and Horse Racing.
- There are more than 150,000 motor sport participants across Australia.
- The sport creates over 16,000 direct jobs, over half of which are generated from circuits.
- Motorsport circuits are significant drivers of regional city income, with more than half of the participants of any circuit visiting from outside the local area.
- Participants spend an average of 9 days away each year for motor racing activities. They would spend more time at the track if venues were improved.
The report appears to have been successful in providing regional Australia with the background facts to help them move forward with what have been simply ideas until now. We have seen Tailem Bend begin construction in South Australia and there are a lot of projects in the pipeline. Over the last 12 months, iEDM have been working on feasibilities and designs for motor sport projects in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Bathurst and Ballarat.
Hopefully, we will see a couple of these permanent venues get to the next stage of design development and move forward with green lights. These projects will only lead to a more sustainable and prosperous motor sport industry in Australia – something we are excited to be a part of.