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Australian GP organizers confirm 16.3m loss

NEWS STORY
30/10/2008

Organizers have confirmed that the Australian Grand Prix continues to lose money, with this year's event posting a $40m AUD (16.3m) loss.

The Grand Prix has become something of a political hot potato in Australia, and until recently there were fears that the country might lose its round of the World Championship.

In addition to arguments over the costs and losses, Bernie Ecclestone demanded that organizers host the event at night in order to attract a bigger European TV audience.

Eventually, the matter died down and, to everyone's surprise, a new deal was agreed which will see Melbourne continue to host the Grand Prix until 2015, with the Victoria state government agreeing to help underwrite the costs.

This year's loss follows losses of $34.6m (14.1m) in 2007, $21m (8.5m) in 2006 and $13m (5.3m) in 2005.

In recent years, organizers have tried a number of initiatives to entice people to the race, including areas especially reserved for women and rock concerts.

Yesterday, organizers revealed that following this year's gig by Kiss, 2009 race goers will get to see The Who, a number of whose tracks might well be considered F1 anthems... most notably, Let's See Action.

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