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Australian Grand Prix CEO wants world’s biggest F1 event to be Melbourne

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Australian Grand Prix CEO wants world’s biggest F1 event to be Melbourne
Having pulled a record crowd to the Australian F1 Grand Prix on the weekend – 132,106 on Sunday and a total of 452,000 attendees for the weekend, up by 7,424 on last year – organisers are now looking to further expand the crowd capacity with plans for a new public entrance at the northern end of the circuit.

The CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC), Travis Auld, says he wants Melbourne to stage the biggest F1 event in the world – a title currently held by Silverstone in the United Kingdom.

Auld, a former senior executive at the Australian Football League, also wants a grand prix festival that spreads into the suburbs surrounding the Albert Park racetrack in Melbourne’s inner city. It is not known if local councils that govern suburbs close to the Albert Park racetrack agree with Auld’s plans. However, following this weekend win by Ferrari, Melbourne’s Little Italy, Lygon Street in Carlton – the other side of Melbourne’s CBD to the F1 track – saw large crowds waving Ferrari red flags converge after the event on Sunday. 

The Melbourne race weekend has always been a popular event for corporate hospitality with scores of venues trackside in addition to events hosted within the Melbourne CBD over the four days.

With the current contract extending Melbourne’s hold on the race until 2037, and Melbourne’s return to hosting the first race of the year in March next year, plans are afoot to use the new public transport interchange – a super tram and underground train station opposite The Shrine of Remembrance, to direct fans into a newly created entrance to the circuit off the top of Queens Road.

While the tram stop on St Kilda Road is now open, underground work continues on the train line known as Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel.

An entrance at that end of the park would almost certainly involve parkland, which is currently part of a nine hole public golf course in Albert Park and any new grandstands or infrastructure development would likely require the agreement of local authorities.

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