Melbourne Grand Prix plans to host crowds up to 50,000

The organisers of the Melbourne Grand Prix are hoping to be able to host crowds of up to 50,000 at a modified Albert Park circuit next March.

“We have all put in the hard yards over winter to hopefully allow us to kick-start the economy, not just from a tourism and hospitality point of view but also a major events perspective,” Australian Grand Prix chief executive Andrew Westacott told The Age.

“We are the third of the big summer events, the Boxing Day cricket, the Australian Open tennis and then the Grand Prix and that’s where Melbourne needs to shine.”

Organisers are planning to divide the venue up into different zones with smaller modular grandstands dotted around the track.

“We won’t see the very large corporate facilities packed to the rafters with hospitality and fans that we are used to, but we will see new outdoor covered dining (which) will be configured to comply with typical restaurant, beer garden or outdoor entertainment guidelines,” Westacott told The Age.

“We can still have hospitality, a great experience, a COVID-safe venue. But it will be configured differently to previous years because we will redesign these facilities.

“But if we have a modular COVID-safe venue with all the checks and balances they require, then the venue becomes no different to the Gabba, the Adelaide Oval, the Sydney Football Stadium, Olympic Park, maybe the MCG Boxing Day test as all have significant crowds.”

The organisers are now waiting on approval from the health authorities to press ahead with the plans.