As Brazil burns under protest of rising bus ticket prices, it seems that the global economic factors are starting to hit folks where it hurts most. Protests over increasing prices from food to travel to fuel and more are prompting serious concerns over what is important and what many people feel they can do without. Signs of the economic impact could be at play for the upcoming British Grand Prix at Silverstone according to The Independent.
The torrential rain of 2012 prompted organizers to ask 30,000 ticket holders to actually stay away from the circuit for qualifying. The decision was not taken lightly and cracked the very core of hardened motor sport fan. It left a lingering taste in the mouths of those who were thwarted from attending the race weekend with ticket in hand.
According to Christian Sylt, sales of tickets for the grand prix are down and much of that is being pinned on the ticket prices themselves. The cheapest tickets start at £145 and that ranks as one of the highest prices of any grand prix on the calendar. As Sylt points out, ticket sales are nearly the only financial vehicle the circuit receives from Formula One Management and that is barely enough to cover the yearly sanctioning fees to host the race let alone track improvements.
To be fair to the organizers, many of the issues faced last year were addressed such as paving parking areas that were previously grass (mud) and expanded park and ride services such as those we experienced in Austin at the USGP.
A spokesman for Silverstone told Sylt:
“We had record crowds at Silverstone in 2011 and 2012 and during our initial sales period for this year’s event ticket sales were not as strong, however they have picked up significantly in the last six to eight weeks and we are pleased to report that although the crowd will not be as big as last years it will still be one of our biggest of recent years.
“There are a number of influencing factors ranging from the current economic climate through to what is going on in the championship – British drivers on the podium always have a positive impact on ticket sales. Thirdly, there is no doubt about it that some people came last year, got soaking wet and didn’t have a good experience.”
If you are in the UK, are you planning on attending the race? If not, why? Is it the price or the amenities that have you soured to the prospect of watching Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Max Chilton?