$2-million price tag
Horsham would need to find about $2-million if it responded to international enthusiasm to host a world senior championship motocross round next year.
That’s the price tag for bringing the world’s best motocross riders, along with their teams and supporters to Australia and the Wimmera for an MXGP.
Horsham Motorcycle Club president Kenny Watts said international officials, impressed by Horsham’s staging of world junior titles at Dooen, had sounded him out about the potential of ‘stepping up’.
“They were impressed – so much so that they told us they are eagerly awaiting an invitation to return,” he said.
“Promoter Youthstream and FIM officials all spoke glowingly about our event and stressed a desire to bring its big brother – an MXGP, part of a 20-round series around the world – to Horsham.
“The trouble is, while we’ve had such an amazing world junior event, we would need every bit of $2-million from government and-or other support agencies and businesses to make it happen.
“In saying that, what we’ve learnt from the weekend is that the economic spin-offs easily justify that sort of investment – not only for the Wimmera, but for Victoria and Australia.”
The world junior titles finished at Dooen on Sunday but the economic impact has continued as people use the occasion to have extended Australian holidays.
“Some people are staying a while and continuing to spend money. For example, word is that one of the smaller national teams at the juniors went to a Horsham hotel for dinner and spent $800 in one hit. That gives a bit of an idea of its worth,” Mr Watts said.
Estimations are that the 2018 FIM Junior Motocross World Championship conservatively generated more than $1-million for the regional economy despite the State Government investing only $80,000 in the event.
More than 4000 fans flocked to Dooen Recreation Reserve on Sunday to watch the high-level junior motocross riding finals unfold.
The crowd was slightly less for preliminary rounds the day before but a worldwide audience for both days was in the millions as 15 media organisations broadcasted the Horsham action around the globe.
About 100 volunteers and officials were involved in staging the event, the first time the titles had come to Australia.
Mr Watts said Horsham Rural City Council had been aware of the event’s significance and provided outstanding support and ACE Radio had also been a strong supporter.
“The truth is we could run a bigger senior event within 12 months if the funding was assured, but that’s a big call. From a regional tourism perspective it would more than pay for itself,” he said.
“In the end, all we really want to do as a club is encourage more people to get involved in motocross riding.”
The championships involved riders and teams from Australasia, Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Australian Bailey Malkiewicz, familiar with the Dooen circuit, won the blue-ribbon 125cc class.
Caden Braswell won the 85cc class and Braden Plath a 65cc class.