The 2023 season-opener was the last event of the inaugural, five-year contract which is a three-way agreement between Supercars, state tourism agency Destination NSW (DNSW), and the City of Newcastle (CN) local council.
While it is thought that said inaugural contract included a possible five-year extension, The Newcastle Herald reports that DNSW is understood to have offered funding for a single-year contract for the 2024 event.
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Speedcafe understands that no decision has yet been made on any deal for next year and potentially beyond, with talks still ongoing.
A one-year deal would, however, coincide with the first Newcastle 500 under a new government in NSW, with Chris Minns leading the Labor party to victory in the state election which was held just a fortnight after the 2023 event.
That is notable because one-year deals in the first year of a new government are in fact not unusual, with multi-year deals signed subsequently.
Future Premier Minns told the Newcastle Herald in February that the Newcastle 500 was “a great local event” and that he “assume[d]” it would be part of the Hunter region's major events calendar going forward.
Supercars was the subject of unfavourable headlines in local media in the past fortnight, with a council-commissioned survey finding that a majority of residents oppose the Newcastle 500.
In response to the latest report regarding a one-year contract, a Supercars spokesperson told Speedcafe, “Discussions are ongoing and are progressing toward an official decision on the future of the Newcastle 500.
“The goal is to ensure a positive outcome for all parties and further updates and details will be communicated in due course.”
A NSW government spokesperson told the Herald, “Productive discussions are currently underway between Supercars, Destination NSW, and City of Newcastle regarding the future of the Newcastle 500.”
A CN spokesperson told the Herald, “Discussions between Destination NSW, Supercars Australia and City of Newcastle regarding the five-year extension of the Newcastle 500 are ongoing.”
The first Newcastle 500 was held in 2017, with the fulfilment of the original deal delayed by pandemic restrictions.