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Official: Sydney show moving to Homebush in 2014

Go west: The Sydney Olympic site (left) has expansive outdoor areas but less indoor floor space than the exhibition centre at Darling Harbour.

Motor show organisers confirm move to Sydney Showgrounds for 2014 AIMS

14 Jun 2012

IT’S official. The Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) is moving to the Sydney Showgrounds in 2014 as the New South Wales government rebuilds the Darling Harbour precinct.

As GoAuto reported exclusively in February, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries and the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce – the joint organisers of AIMS – were forced to find an alternative venue in the Harbour City with the impending demolition of the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre (SCEC) as part of a three-year redevelopment project.

The Sydney Showgrounds at Homebush, which is on the site of the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the city’s inner-west, is the only realistic alternative for Australia’s biggest motor show, which rotates between Sydney and Melbourne each year.

AIMS event director Russ Tyrie has this week confirmed the move to Homebush for both 2014 and 2016.

The current schedule will see the exhibition centre close at the end of next year.

“Whilst the SCEC has been our home for 23 shows, we are very much looking forward to the opportunities presented to us and exhibitors alike at Sydney Showground,” said Mr Tyrie.

“The Sydney Olympic Park venue will enable the motor show to grow and become a more diverse event, with the expansive outdoor areas giving exhibitors more room and the chance to host both on- and off-stand activities. The possibilities are practically endless.”

 center imageLeft: AIMS director Russ Tyrie.

Highlighting the “outdoor area” of some 15,000 square metres and encouraging exhibitors to think beyond conventional displays indicates that the organisers are acutely aware of the drawbacks with the Homebush site.

The move will reduce the all-important indoor floor space for exhibitors, with a maximum 21,600 square metres available in the showground’s dome and three adjacent exhibition halls.

This is down on the current 25,000 square metres offered at Darling Harbour, although that figure will soon become academic as organisers look forward to the redevelopment that, by the time the 2018 Sydney show comes around, will feature a sparkling new 40,000-square-metre centre – the biggest of its kind in Australia.

Other disadvantages with the move to Homebush include its distance from downtown Sydney, inability to house the show under one roof and its lack of immediate facilities, including substantial hotel accommodation.

However, the promoters are talking up the location as “in the geographical heart of Sydney” and being well serviced by public transport, with “10,000 parking spaces located within a few minutes’ walk of the venue, along with a selection of accommodation options and restaurants”.

Sydney Showground general manager Peter Thorpe said the organisation was “thrilled” about the temporary switch, and confident the relocation would would be well received by car companies investing in the event.

“Sydney Showground prides itself on attracting and promoting world-class exhibitions and events, (and) AIMS is a great example of this,” he said.

“Sydney Showground and the Sydney Olympic Park Authority are thrilled to welcome AIMS to the precinct in 2014 and are confident exhibitors, the general public and motor enthusiasts alike will be extremely pleased with the interactive nature the venue is able achieve.”

As well as spruiking the new venue, AIMS organisers are also hoping this year’s event will attract a larger crowd than the previous Sydney show in 2010, which attracted just 139,000 visitors.

Last year’s Melbourne show, by comparison, drew almost 200,000.

Mr Tyrie described this year’s AIMS in Sydney, which runs from October 19-28, as “a fantastic send-off” for the venue.

“SCEC has been a wonderful venue for motor shows in Sydney over the years, hosting hundreds of model reveals with almost five million visitors streaming through its doors to see the best that the Australian automotive industry has to offer,” he said.

“Were looking forward to seeing how the plans shape up for its redevelopment, but rest assured the 2012 Australian International Motor Show at SCEC promises to be a fantastic send-off to a great venue.”

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