FEBRUARY 10, 2005
The Australian Grand Prix would normally be scheduled for the first weekend in March in 2006. The actual date would most likely be March 5. The only problem with this is that the city is due to play host to the XVIII Commonwealth Games between March 15 and 26 and it may be that the city of Melbourne would prefer to move the Grand Prix so as to avoid one event impacting on the ticket sales of the other. This is not going to be easy to achieve. The option would be to move the race to the end of April but that would disrupt the start of the European Formula 1 season and would put the Grand Prix into competition with the Australian Football League (AFL) Premiership season, which kicks off on March 27 and runs until August. The weekend of April 29 which has been suggested as a possible date for the Grand Prix would normally feature a match between Carlton and Hawthorn, the two big clubs in Melbourne. It is difficult to move the first three races around because even if the World Championship kicked off in Bahrain on March 5, it would then go to Malaysia on March 19 and Australia on April 2. If that was to happen F1 would be hurt by poor ticket sales as the population of Melbourne might have spent all their money buying tickets for Commonwealth Games activities in the weeks leading up to the race.
The option would be to move the race to the end of the season although this might create budgetary problems because it could mean the government would have to budget for two Grands Prix in the same year, which would have political implications.
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