Eight in 10 Hunter residents see benefits in Supercars Newcastle 500
More than 80 per cent of Hunter residents believe the Newcastle 500 Supercars event will be beneficial to Newcastle and the region, according to research by the Hunter Research Foundation.
Newcastle City Council engaged the Hunter Research Foundation Centre to assess support for the event with a representative sample of 300 residents polled during three weeks in March.
Eight in 10 respondents (81 per cent) believed Newcastle and the region would benefit from hosting the Supercars Newcastle 500. Fewer than 12 per cent disagreed. The rest (8.1 per cent) said they were unsure.
"The results of this research are further evidence our wider community recognises the benefits of hosting such a landmark event," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
"The Newcastle 500 will attract an estimated 81,000 interstate and international visitors to the event over five years. The three-day race weekend will see more than 150,000 spectators converge on the city.
"That's not to mention long-term improvements to the east end's ageing infrastructure, thanks to the $8.8 million suite of civil works Council has brought forward to support delivery of the event.
"Council understands there are still issues and concerns to be addressed with east end residents but we are working with Supercars Australia and Destination NSW to listen to those concerns and resolve them wherever possible."
Survey participants were asked: Overall, do you think the Supercars Newcastle 500 event being held in November in the Newcastle East foreshore area will be beneficial for Newcastle and the region?
Respondents aged 18-64 were much more likely to answer "Yes" than those aged 65-plus. There was no significant difference in responses from males and females.
The results follow on from a separate telephone survey of Newcastle residents commissioned by Council in March to gauge public opinion about the track route. Only a small minority wanted the track moved further east to Shortland Esplanade.
The Newcastle 500 is expected to provide a $57 million boost to the local economy over the next five years. The event will boast a potential television viewing audience of 220 million households worldwide.
"This is going to be a wonderful opportunity to showcase our city to the world," Ms Nelmes said.
"There is significant community support for this event."