By ERWIN CHLANDA
A media release from Chief Minister Adam Giles claims “13,500 people” attended the inaugural CentreNTRS on the weekend, but the figure seems to be vastly inflated.
The NT Government spent $1m on the event, including $100,000 towards the upgrade of the Alice Springs Inland Dragway burnout pad.
When asked for details a spokeswoman for Mr Giles said: “13,500 people passed through the gates over the weekend. They were only counted when they were first admitted into a venue.”
There were one-day and three-day passes for sale.
With a $50 three-day pass each individual ticket holder could be admitted to Blatherskite Park on three days and to the Alice Springs Inland Drags on two, making it a total of five possible admissions.
With a $20 one-day pass an individual could be admitted to Blatherskite Park and the Drags, making it a total of two possible admissions.
The government’s Major Events organisation is still doing the numbers of how many passes were sold for one and three days respectively, but 13,500 admissions clearly is not the same as 13,500 people.
The spokeswoman did not respond to a question about how many people came from outside Alice Springs to attend the NATS.
She said of the 400 original entrants, 40% were from outside the NT.
The spokeswoman said the economic benefits of the fixture for the town are still being assessed.
Mr Giles said: “The people of Australia have spoken loud and clear – they want the RedCentreNATS to continue in the heart of the country and we will commit to that.
“Summernats in Canberra receives around 1800 entrants and over 100,000 through the gate each year in January.
“I am confident that we can build on our event and give our southern counterparts a real run for their money and maybe after the smoke has cleared, even exceed their extraordinary success,” Mr Giles said.
If further details come to hand we will publish them.
By ERWIN CHLANDA