Supercars

Adelaide 500 moves to later 2021 date

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Adelaide 500 moves to later 2021 date
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The Adelaide 500 is unlikely to open the 2021 Supercars season, with event organisers already forfeiting its usual February/March date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The traditional Supercars season-opener was unaffected by the pandemic this year, its mid-February date allowing the event to run before Australia was directly affected by the virus.

However the Adelaide street race hasn't dodged the coronavirus entirely, with organisers proactively deciding to push back the 2021 event to ensure it won't undergo an expensive track build for nothing.

The new date for the event will be revealed when the 2021 Supercars calendar goes public next month.

"Our world-class street circuit requires significant planning and temporary infrastructure to operate successfully. Our event-build is one of the largest in the state and comes with considerable risk and reward," said South Australian Tourism Commission boss Hitaf Rasheed.

“Top of mind for us is our many suppliers and stakeholders who will soon start making huge investments into the event, both time and money, and we want the best result for them as well as our loyal fans.

“We are working with Supercars on revised dates for the 2021 event and looking to have this resolved in time for their calendar release, currently planned for the back half of October.

"We understand that Supercars’ current priority is to complete the 2020 season and we are very happy to see the sport returning to South Australia at Tailem Bend later this month.

"Supercars CEO Sean Seamer added: "We have been in constant discussion with the SATC and fully support the decision.

“This is one of the showpiece events on our calendar and we agree, at this current time, with the planning and infrastructure required it would not be viable to run an event of that size and scale in February.

“Planning for Supercars 2021 calendar is underway and our intention is to announce next year’s draft calendar in October.“We have a great relationship with South Australia and will continue to look at all options for 2021."

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Street circuits have been a major casualty of the pandemic, with crowds generally required to both off-set and justify government spends on temporary venues.

The Gold Coast and Newcastle races have been called off this season, while the Townsville event, a mix of a permanent and street circuit, has been able to go ahead with a crowd limited to around 10,000 per day.

The current contract for the Adelaide 500 ends next year, a downturn in crowds this February sparking speculation the event could be in danger. However fears it could be on the chopping block were recently allayed when PR agency TLA inked a new two-year deal to manage the event which covers 2021 and 2022.

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Series Supercars
Author Andrew van Leeuwen