Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes has declared the city's Supercars weekend "another outright success", but Greens councillor John Mackenzie says the council should not extend its five-year contract to host the race.
Cr Nelmes tabled a lord mayoral minute at Tuesday night's council meeting praising the event, which had "showcased Newcastle to the world" and helped raise funds for charities.
The minute said "many local businesses" had reported "positive trading results, both in the lead-up to the event, and right across the weekend".
"Paymasters Café, East End Bar & Grill, Rosina's Pizza, 23Hundred Café, The Falcon Restaurant, Edmonds & Co, The Grand Hotel, the Great Northern Hotel and Bar Petite all reported favourable business trading results throughout the event," the minute said, referring to a Newcastle Herald report on the race's effect on business.
Cr Nelmes also noted that Supercars boss Sean Seamer had been quoted in the media saying he hoped the race had a "very long future" in Newcastle.
Cr Mackenzie dismissed the lord mayoral minute as a "fantastic PR piece" which neglected the race's burden on east end residents and traders.
"There's no mention, yet again, of the mass exodus of businesses from Newcastle East and from Darby Street over the past two weeks, in particular, but at a maximum over the weekend who are forced to close their doors as a consequence of the inability of people to access the city during the bump-in, during the event and now during the bump-out as well."
He said the promotional benefits of the event diminished each year.
Cr Mackenzie also took exception to a change in next year's Supercars schedule which has pushed back the Newcastle race by two weeks, to December 4 to 6.
"I can assure you that the last remaining skerrick of social licence this event has will completely be annihilated next year when the event is hosted in the first week of December and we deprive the small businesses of the east end of that vital bit of Christmas period trading," he said.
"As if retail in this city was not suffering enough, and as if retail in the east end in particular was not doing it tough.
"Based on what I've seen ... there's simply no basis for us to continue to pursue the renewal of the Supercars contract."
The council's former interim CEO, Peter Chrystal, signed a five-year "services deed" with Supercars in 2016 to host the race from 2017 to 2021, with an option for another five years.
It it unclear if the council, which is up for re-election next year, could avoid hosting the race after 2021 even if it wanted to.
The deed says Supercars may "at its discretion ... extend the term of this Deed for an additional 5 years ... on the same terms and conditions as set out in this Deed".
A background report on the lord mayoral minute said news coverage of the Supercars finale had reached more than 14 million people "with an estimated value of over $2 million".
Foxtel's Supercars programs were easily the most popular on subscription television on Saturday, filling the top 13 places on the ratings and peaking at 151,000 viewers.
Supercars was also the top-rating pay-TV show on Sunday at 222,000, beating the Australia-Pakistan cricket Test by 40,000.
Channel 10's Supercars coverage did not rate a mention in the top 20 programs on either day on free-to-air television, which draws a significantly larger audience than pay TV.
In free-to-air ratings data for Australia's five major cities on Sunday, Seven's cricket coverage drew 470,000 viewers in the second session of play. Seven's Sunday news bulletin attracted 859,000 viewers in the major cities.
Liberal councillor Brad Luke said the event was "great for the city" and its marketing value would accumulate each year, but he shared Cr Mackenzie's concerns that the December time slot next year could have a "far worse impact" on businesses.
Cr John Church told the Newcastle Herald that the Newcastle Independents bloc supported renewing the Supercars contract "but only with a significant review of the services deed".
He said told the council meeting that the city paid a "significant" fee to Supercars to host the event plus an estimated $1 million a year in other costs.
Cr Church said a "small pocket" of Newcastle East residents carried an "unfair burden" by having their lives "turned upside down" for weeks.
He said Supercars was increasingly using external suppliers and contractors to stage the event, and the council should insist on a "buy-local campaign" when renegotiating its deal with the promoter.