There were ‘no vacancy signs’ on most accommodation venues throughout Newcastle for the running of the inaugural Coates Newcastle 500 held over the weekend of 24th, 25th and 26th November. The City put on its most superb weather further enhancing the beauty of the circuit beamed via television throughout Australia and the world. A fabulous tourist promotion for the City. Fans claimed any vantage point they could around the course and also watched from balconies of the high rise apartments and hotels around the course. A record 21,289 people mostly Supercar race fans from Melbourne and the Gold Coast passed through Newcastle Airport during the race weekend, 4823 of those were on Friday alone, breaking the prior daily record. A further three days over the race week exceeded the 4000 mark.
The Supercars weekend was an incredible success for the region, and Newcastle Airport experienced a record number of commercial aircraft movements during the race period bolstered by Virgin Australia putting on 26 additional flights to support race fans. At times, the tarmac represented the race track with every bay on the apron full – the first time this has happened in the history of Newcastle Airport which was handled extremely smoothly by the airport team.