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Seamer: Supercars will survive economic impact of coronavirus

Simon Chapman

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Wednesday 1st April, 2020 - 6:00am

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Sean Seamer

Sean Seamer says Supercars is “very different” to other sports and is adamant the championship will weather the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Supercars has already been affected by the pandemic with events in Tasmania, Auckland and Perth postponed.

The suspension of the 2020 season came after Government guidelines restricting mass gatherings. States and Territories also imposed 14-day self-isolation periods for interstate travellers.

Speaking with select media this week, including Speedcafe.com, Seamer was quizzed on the state of the championship in relation to other high profile sporting codes around Australia facing financial difficulties.

The category CEO was quick to point out Supercars isn’t immune to those challenges, however, it isn’t doesn’t incur significant costs while there is no racing.

“I think the important distinction that I would make is that we’re a very lean group of people in the first instance,” said Seamer.

“The second point that I would make is that when we’re not racing we’re not incurring any costs. So for us, as a business collectively, what we need to do is navigate the next few months.

“We’re not special, everybody is hurting. But what we’re focusing on right now is what we need to do to keep the sport relevant over the next few months to make sure that we’re satisfying as much of our deliverables as much as possible.

“I can’t speak for ball sports, but the rosters and the amount of people we have is significantly lower. The work that the government around Job Keeper, Job Seeker and GST breaks significantly helps motorsport.

“That doesn’t mean we’re having a good time. We’re having the same challenges that every other sport is having. We still have to be lean and mean and be ready to go again at the end of the year.”

Seamer said the BP Supercars All Stars Eseries and Inside Line docuseries would help the championship hit its marks and keep it in the spotlight.

He also noted fewer events in their calendar year means the championship shouldn’t necessarily be compared with ball sports, which can have several games around the country each week.

Supercars, meanwhile, is hoping to achieve a 14-round calendar that could lapse into 2021.

“The big question remains, which is true for us and for every other sport, is when can we go racing again? And from then delivering the championship,” said Seamer.

“For us, we’re talking 14 rounds, not 22, not 30,” he said in relation to other sports.

“Not every weekend, not twice a week. So the challenge is different.

“From the conversations I’ve had, the entrepreneurial spirit of the teams and us at Supercars will help us navigate this period.

“It’s not permanent. We will be back.”

Seamer said Supercars is still working through its calendar for the remainder of 2020 and that it remains flexible with calendar options later on in the year.

“Let’s just be clear here, we’re talking two weeks since our last event, we weren’t scheduled to go racing yet,” he said.

“The cadence of this championship and the cadence of this business is different.

“We have always been very, very clear that when we make decisions that they’ll be clear and they’ll be decisive.

“We’re very, very different from the other sports. We are focused on delivering the championship between now and when we go racing again next year.”

Seamer reaffirmed his belief that the championship would adapt in the wake of the pandemic.

Back-to-back rounds are being investigated as well as television-only events in an effort to complete a full 14-round championship.

Supercars is monitoring State and Federal Government decisions to ready itself for a return to racing as soon as is feasibly possible.

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