|Like Surfers, the Newcastle track is along the sea|
The inaugural Coates Hire Newcastle 500 has been a runaway success with unheralded numbers and more than 180,000 people through the turnstiles across the weekend.
The event, easily positioned as the largest annual sporting event in New South Wales, hosted 192,242 patrons on Friday (56,478), Saturday (69,526) and Sunday (66,238); and some 9000 corporate guests.
Supercars CEO James Warburton said the overwhelming reception and community support was testament to bringing the event to Newcastle and the greater Hunter Region.
“This weekend is all we hoped it would be; and to be honest well exceeded our expectations," Warburton said.
“The venue is incredible; the crowds have been huge and the live pictures of the boats, ships, the harbor, the beaches and Newcastle being beamed live around Australia and the world are amazing.
“It is credit to Destination New South Wales and Newcastle City Council to support our vision and deliver such a fantastic event to the City."
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said: "This weekend's inaugural Newcastle 500 has far exceeded expectations, with massive crowds, sensational weather and some of the best racing of the season.
"The city of Newcastle has done an incredible job hosting more than 190,000 people from around Australia and the world. This event has already become a firm favorite on the Supercars calendar so those wanting to be part of next year's excitement should get their tickets early.
“The NSW Government, via Destination NSW, is delighted to have secured this event for Newcastle in partnership with Supercars Australia and Newcastle City Council," Mr Marshall said.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said: “What an event. We have been so lucky with the beautiful weather, but the success of the first-ever Newcastle 500 hinged on so much more than that.
“The planning, the dedication and the passion of everyone involved has really shone through and made this a landmark weekend in Newcastle’s history.
“I want to thank everyone – the people of this great city and the people who came here as visitors for this event – for helping make it such a wonderful success. Bring on 2018!"
Many local business, hotels, pubs and restaurants inside and outside of the precinct reported substantial trade across the weekend with transport and traffic management running smoothly.
Warburton also thanked the fans and the local community for the huge support.
“The local community and our fans from right around Australia, plus many from overseas, really embraced the weekend," Warburton said.
“There was such a fantastic atmosphere around the entire circuit. People were really upbeat and happy; and so are we.
“There were no major issues whatsoever across the weekend, the big crowds got in and out relatively smoothly and traffic flowed quite well around the precinct.
“Of course we will go back and review every element post-event to improve for next year but for a first time event our Supercars team and the many agencies involved deserve huge applause."
The Coates Hire Newcastle 500 returns to the City next year on November 23-35, 2018.