Hamilton City Council has negotiated an early termination of its agreement to host the annual ITM400 V8 Supercars street race.
Next year’s event – slated for April 2012 – will be the city’s swansong, and it leaves V8 Supercars officials scrambling to find a suitable venue in order for a New Zealand round to remain on the championship calendar after next year.
Funding and revenues for the event have been dramatically hit in recent years, firstly with the collapse of the event’s previous promoter in 2010, and then 2011’s Chritchurch earthquake saw race attendance and corporate sponsorship take a significant hit.
It is understood that negotiations to alter the terms of the current agreement broke down – including rescheduling the event to a November calendar slot – leaving both parties to mutually agree to tear up the contract.
The city council will receive a one-off $1.25 million payment from V8 Supercars as part of the event’s termination, as well being absolved of any further financial responsibility to stage next year’s event.
“This is the best outcome for both the city and V8 Supercars,” the city’s mayor, Julie Hardaker is quoted as saying.
“While I am sorry to see such a high profile event go, there has been a cost to the ratepayers which is not sustainable. We’ve reached an agreement with the promoters that is the best for the city.”
“We have loved our time in Hamilton and are looking forward to staging the 2012 race as planned,” added V8 Supercars chairman Tony Cochrane.
“Despite our best efforts, in the current market we could not secure the corporate support we had budgeted for Hamilton.
“While we assure fans we will do everything possible to find a new venue, unfortunately we cannot guarantee racing in New Zealand after 2012,” he added.
[Original image via Team Vodafone]