This year’s Sydney 500 V8 Supercars season finale at Sydney Olympic Park will mark the final chapter in the event’s history after officials confirmed its contract had not been renewed.

“We are continuing discussions with Destination NSW about the best location for 2017 and beyond but we believe the time is right to move from Sydney Olympic Park,” said V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton.

Sydney Olympic Park has played host as the V8 Supercars season finale every year since it debuted on the calendar in 2009. The development of the event was mired in controversy and criticism that the New South Wales state government had subsidised the inaugural event to the tune of more than $30 million.

Even the local Olympic Park Authority criticised the government’s own estimations of how much economic benefits the race would give to the region, and wrote at the time that “the current V8 Supercars Australia budget estimates are too low and/or incomplete”.

There was opposition to the funding of the race from within the government’s own ranks, and despite initial claims that the inaugural event had been a major winner for the state, a subsequent report from the Auditor-General concluded that the government failed to adequately estimate the costs of the event, and that the benefits of the event were not as high as expected.

This year’s event has also had a date change, moving from November 25-27 to December 2-4. Special family tickets and free general admission for the Friday of the event has been announced to appease fans who may be inconvenienced by the date change.

“We apologise to our fans for any inconvenience but we want to do everything we can to ensure this is one of the biggest events on the 2016 calendar,” Warburton added.

Image via V8 Supercars Championship

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Geoff Burke

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