Reaction to the Cancellation of Adelaide: Dean Rainsford
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26 FEB 2001
The following is a transcript of a media conference conducted in Adelaide this morning with Dean Rainsford, Director of Panoz Motorsports Australia, regarding the South Australian Government's cancellation of the Adelaide Le Mans Series event.
Firstly, I would like to tell some facts about Adelaide¹s Race of a Thousand Years.
- The race generated more than AUS$87 million worth of media exposure for Adelaide including major international television exposure throughout Europe and the U.S.A. The media value is based on the SA Tourism formula.
We understand that this is more than twice any other event staged here. The economic benefit to the State from this event has not been announced.
Joyce Julius - the independent US based television analysis company valued the NBC showing of the Adelaide Race at AUS$14m.
- The event had a television viewing audience of more than 320 million households around the world.
- We attracted more than 4500 international visitors many of whom stayed for up to ten days.
- Based on the numbers quoted in Hansard - our ticket revenue for the Le Mans event was more than AUS$500,000 up on any motorsport event held in Adelaide since the Grand Prix.
- The race day crowd on Sunday of more than 80,000 people was the largest one-day paying audience for any sporting event held in South Australia since the Grand Prix.
- The four-day crowd of 141,000 people made Adelaide¹s Race of a Thousand Years the third largest sportscar race in the world behind the Le Mans 24 Hour and the 12 Hours of Sebring two of the world¹s oldest sportscar events.
- The race was also unanimously voted as the best race of the Le Mans Series by drivers and team owners.
- The city of Adelaide also gained millions of dollars of additional television exposure by the Panoz team throughout 2000 with the word "Adelaide" proudly displayed on both team cars at all events including the Le Mans 24 Hour no other city, no other race in the championship gained this honor.
Now I would also like to offer a note of thanks.
- The race was an outstanding success and a great note of thanks goes to
you people the media who really got behind the event. The teams were stunned beyond belief of the level of interest from the local media.
- I would also like to thank the people of South Australia who not only enjoyed the biggest New Year¹s eve party that this State has ever seen, but have flooded our office and our team with heart-felt expressions of amazement as to why this decision was made and the way the decision was delivered to us.
- I would also like to thank our sponsors who trusted us and shared our enthusiasm for this event with their support. Their backing was extremely gratifying and we were probably only a matter of days away from securing a new naming rights sponsor for 2001.
- It would be remiss of me to not thank the team here at Panoz Motorsport Australia who put their heart and soul into making this event so successful
- our Adelaide team is the best in this part of the world and I sincerely hope they can be kept together for the sake of Motorsport in this country.
And now down to some additional facts.
- not myself, Don Panoz or any of our team was informed of the Premier¹s decision, and the fact he was going to make an announcement that the Government was not going ahead with the arrangement as agreed with us.
- in fact, the first time our media manager, Paul Ryan, was informed of the decision he got a call from a radio station while he was interstate on Friday working with potential sponsors.
- I am amazed and disappointed that the Principals of two of our four major sponsors of this event were first informed of the decision while they were listening to the Premier at lunch at the Hilton.
- For our staff, sponsors, officials and supporters to hear about the decision while listening to the radio is deplorable.
I would also like to dispel some more major discrepancies about event.
- It has been reported that WorkCover's sponsorship of the event was to the tune of $2 million. They may have received more than $2 million worth of exposure by having their "Work to Live" message on every safety marshal and the safety cars at the event, but their sponsorship was a minute fraction of the $2 million figure being discussed.
- The suggestion of a $2 million sponsorship is mischievous to say the least.
And now for some good news.
- While the teams, the drivers, the fans and media across the world were shattered at the news, the positive aspect is the fact that the Le Mans Series will return to Australia this year.
- Since the Governments announcement on Friday, we have received a number of significant approaches and despite some comments made recently by the Government we now have enquiries for a 2001 event from every state in mainland Australia.
- Adelaide was slated to stage the "Series Final" for the American, European and Asia Pacific Le Mans Series.
- We had already had discussions with Perth regarding the possibility of staging a round of the Asia Pacific Le Mans Series but any agreement made here will not see a race take place until at least 2003 at the earliest.
- However, there will be a race staged in Australia this year.
- We are hoping to finalizing the venue and date for this year's Australian round of the Le Mans Series within the next four to six weeks.