Aussie GP attendance row brews Down Under

The admission by operators of the Australian Grand Prix that attendance figures at the formula one race were "rubbery" came as no great surprise.

A representative admitted before a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal that his office didn't know how many people attended the race, and that the number of tickets given away was kept secret to avoid undermining the event's appeal.

A freedom of information application by the anti-race Save Albert Park mob revealed that attendances were inflated, enhanced by thousands of free tickets.

As well, the figures included every person who visited the track over the race week. It would be nice if the confessional spirit infiltrates V8 supercars, where almost predictable claims of record crowds are greeted like a bad stand-up comedy routine.

In the wake of another claim after the four-day Clipsal 500 last weekend, it is timely to ask for the numbers of payers. Domestic motor sport is in a healthy state right now, and the marketers should not have to inflate numbers. In doing so, they leave themselves wide open to court action from disgruntled sponsors. Sydney Morning Herald

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