In a big win for NT tourism and local jobs, Australia’s richest middle distance race is now even richer. Online gaming company Lottoland is offering $1 million for any athlete who can break the male or female track mile world records during the now renamed Lottoland Million Dollar Mitchell Street Mile.
Minister for Tourism and Culture Lauren Moss said the re-named event is a very exciting announcement for sport and tourism in the NT. The announcement is set to put Darwin on the middledistance racing map and will provide a boost for tourism and the local economy.
“The NT Government is committed to hosting top sporting events and has provided $175,000 for the Lottoland Million Dollar Mitchell Street Mile. Territorians love their sporting events and elevating the race to a global attraction is a real boost for the Territory’s international profile.
“Lottoland’s contribution will also increase the winner’s prize money to $15,000, which will help attract more elite competitors and grow publicity for the event and Darwin around Australia and the world,” Ms Moss said.
“No doubt thousands will again come down to Mitchell Street for the event which also showcases our vibrant CBD and our unique tourism opportunities while promoting our capacity to host major events.”
Lottoland CEO Luke Brill said the company was delighted to be the major sponsor in the record breaking three-year deal.
“We are giving runners from all over the globe a chance to run for $1 million on the streets of Darwin. Our aim is to support and give back to the community of the Northern Territory. This event will drive tourism to the Top End and much needed funds to support the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS),” said Mr Brill.
The current men’s world track record is 3:43.13 set by Hicham El Euerrouj in 1999 while the women’s is 4:12:56 set by Svetlana Masterkova in 1996.
Now in its fourth year, the 1609 metre (one mile) event is run through iconic Mitchell Street in the city’s CBD and is jointly funded by the Northern Territory Government, Athletics NT and Lottoland.
Race Director Richard Welsh said the event was becoming a highlight for elite Australian runners.
“In just a few short years, we’ve positioned the event to be a major focus for many athletes on the Australian distance running calendar. Ideally situated at the end of the European track season, we’re well placed to attract many of the world’s best middle distance athletes once again.
“While the elite fields will no doubt feature many Olympians once again, much of the Territory colour and flair comes out in the other categories. There will be 8 different running events and 3 cycling events this year, as the cycling criteriums were quite a spectacle last year on debut.
“We’re looking to enhance our livestream service even further this year, following on from last year’s success that saw people from as far as the USA tune in for the elite races.”
The event is also a strong tool to attract young people to Athletics.
“Hosting the event in Darwin allows young Territorians to see elite athletes in action, which can grow the sport at the grassroots level through increased participation,” said Mr Welsh.
RFDS Northern Territory General Manager Michael Toomey said the charity is proud to be associated with the Lottoland Mitchell Street Mile.
“We appreciate the generous support Lottoland has allocated to the Royal Flying Doctors and we look forward to a fabulous day.”
The Lottoland Million Dollar Mitchell Street Mile is on Sunday 17 September 2017, we encourage Territorians to participate in this spectacular local event.
Prize Money for the Elite Men and Women:
World Record Breaker - $1,000,000
First - $15,000
Second - $5,000
Third - $3,000
Fourth - $2,000
Fifth - $1,000
First Territorian - $1,000
MEDIA CONTACT: Clancy Wright - 0428 458 466