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Formula I « Previous | |Next »
March 10, 2003

Well the big race is over for another year. Melbourne hummed. Only hummed? The heroes have been duely saluted and the nationalism put back in the draw.

Melburnians can sit back knowing they are well and truly on the international map as a result of the television coverage.Thousands of tourists will be now flock to this great city because of the city's international exposure from this form of marketing and publicity. For a moment Melbourne was the centre of the universe--if we are to believe the hype.

There is another side: the one behind the hype, spin and publicity. Formula 1 is facing disappearing sponsors and collapsing television audiences. Why? Because as a 'bread and circuses' spectacle it is boring due to the absence of genuine racing. And putting on the show is now so expensive that the level of expenditure required to compete threatens to bankrupt half the field.

Melbourne may have witnessed a competitive grand prix but one race won't turn the creditability problem round.

And then there is the economics of it all. Stephen Mayne of captures the economic side. In his special Sunday email he says:

"Whilst our largely foreign-owned 5-star hotels do well, the event is a disaster for most traders around the track except for the pubs. Crikey popped into the South Melbourne markets on Friday and it was dead. One fruit stall owner said it was usually close to the worst weekend for the year.

Of 463 local businesses surveyed in 1998 only 13.6 % said they had an "increase in trade" (including seven pubs and one brothel) This year the only signs that the Grand Prix is on in South Melbourne are a few flags on pubs and brothels, virtually nothing on the shops and the barricades down the main street.

And Ron Walker keeps on tell people that Bernie Ecclestone is coming to inspect one of the best GPs but then he never shows up. It's called taking the money and running."

Funny that. It was the same in Adelaide. Very poor returns for the traders in Hutt Street. Most of the local businesses around the Race track closed because they were inacessible due to traffic closures. And it sort of became ho hum after a while for all the talking up by the promotors.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:00 AM | | Comments (2)


"Whilst our largely foreign-owned 5-star hotels do well"

Yeah and who do they employ? Australians of course. Christ i'm sick of bloody Stephen Mayne whinging about everything, his act got boring about two years ago.

I thought that Mayne's criticism of F1 were more about hard economics from a free market perspective than a whinge. The figures used in the cost benefit analysis are suss.