Supercars’ Newcastle return a step closer

Supercars at Newcastle in 2019

The return of Supercars to the streets of Newcastle is a step closer with councillors voting in support of the proposed March 2023 date.

A tentative date for next year’s season-opening Newcastle 500 was announced by Supercars, which would see a return of Newcastle East Street Circuit to the calendar.

That date, March 10-12, has now been endorsed by local councillors, though is subject to approvals from state government agencies.

It includes sign-off from Heritage Council of NSW, NSW Office of Sport and Destination NSW.

Supercars is also awaiting approval under the Heritage Act after its previous approval, which concerns the use of the Camp Shortland area (Turn 11 hairpin), lapsed in April this year.

Next year’s event would be the final under the original agreement between NSW Government, Supercars Australia, and City of Newcastle.

Newcastle Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes, believes having the event as Round 1 of the season provides a benefit.

“Clarifying these new dates in March provides a good alternative to the previous season-closing events in terms of maximising the potential of the event from an economic perspective while also minimising disruption to the community and business operators,” Cr Nelmes said.

“The most recent economic assessment report by Ernst and Young found that, on average, the Newcastle 500 delivered $36.2 million annually in total economic impact, which when compared with the $1.6 million cost of Council supporting the race, equates to $22.60 being returned to the local economy for every $1 council invested in the race.

“Local tourism and accommodation providers that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 will be looking forward to benefiting from the economic stimulus provided by the Newcastle 500’s likely return in March next year.”

Should Newcastle’s place as the season-opener be confirmed, it would host the competitive debut of the Gen3 era.

The last time Supercars visited Newcastle was in 2019, the circuit having made its debut in 2017.

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