F1 Grand Prix: Victorians finish last. Again.

by Rod Campbell
Mercedes driver George Russell of Great Britain (left) passes Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of Netherlands (right) at the start of the 2023 Australian Grand Prix at the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, Sunday, April 2, 2023. (AAP Image/James Ross) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
AAP Image/James Ross


The $100m lost by the Grand Prix could double funding for community sport and pay the airfares of all international and interstate visitors.

As F1 fans get ready for the Grand Prix in Melbourne this weekend, spare a thought for the Victorian public that pays for the race.

In 2023, the cost to the Victorian Government of the four day Grand Prix was $100.6 million. That’s the financial loss after ticket and advertising sales.

For context, that’s almost twice what the Victorian Government has budgeted for all community sport in the state for 2023-24:

With the money lost on the Grand Prix, Victoria could double its community sport budget and still have $35 million left over.

But isn’t it good for tourism? Sure, some people visit Melbourne for the Grand Prix. About 9,000 from overseas and 70,000 from interstate according to the Grand Prix Corp’s attendance figures, the calculation of which is a secret known only to three people.

For $35 million, the Victorian Government could pay for 9,000 international ($1,500) and 70,000 domestic ($300) airfares and fly as many people to the state.

Lots of people enjoy the Grand Prix, which is great because the Victorian public pays dearly for it. The Victorian community would be better off it the Grand Prix’s $100m losses, which benefit an overseas corporation, were redirected to sport facilities that Victorians actually use.

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