Spa issues

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
The attendance at Spa at racing day this year has dropped below 50,000 sold tickets where they needed 60,000 to break even. This means the organization is left with a deficit again of around 3 million euro. The Wallon government no longer wants to pay for these losses.

so now the plan Spa has is as follows: an F1 race at Spa every second year and a F2 race every year. where the profit of the F2 race will be used to cover the losses of the f1 race. big snag: means the attencance for the F2 race has to be at least 30 000. this year attendance was 3 000.

not good...

ps. on holidays in the sun with a beer and palm trees and not missing F1 at all!
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
It would be a terrible shame if we lost Spa or if it went to every other season as it really is one of the crown jewels of F1. I'm sure Bernie could make more money by selling the race to a Middle Eastern or SE Asian state but it further erodes the European heart of F1. And, at the end of the day, with the main fan base in Europe surely F1 needs to keep a majority of European races. Adu Dhabi will be a twilight race to suit a European TV audience, Malaysia already is, Singapore is run at night for the same reasons and Australia was run early evening. If the audience is in Europe, why aren't more of the races?

So, with Hockenheim no longer able to afford a race will Germany and Belgium rotate between Spa and the Nurburgring? Not the best solution as far as I am concerned but it would at least keep Spa on the calender.

Bernie seems to strangling the goose which laid his golden egg. There have been rumours about China pulling out as the Chinese government no longer want to keep paying out, Turkey makes a loss, the Japanese Grand Prix is back at Suzuka because Fuji lost money - how long will Honda support a race there?

I know it's all about money but it's like the company which has declining sales increasing prices to maintain profits, this result is a further decrease in sales so they increase prices again eventually disappearing up their own backsides. Perhaps the FOTA break away series would have been the best idea for F1 fans?
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
FB said:
Perhaps the FOTA break away series would have been the best idea for F1 fans?
I think so. CVC are only in it for the short-term, which is fair enough - that's what they do - and once they've made their money they'll be looking to sell on. The trouble is, whoever buys it are more than likely going to follow the same general business plan that CVC have, aren't they?
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
I am guessing that they are also in trouble as they can't be seen to be dropping their fees for certain tracks, else other tracks will ask for the same 'favour'.

The only way I can see tracks like Spa and Germany being kept is via a different fee system that works on percentage of aveage track attendance at a resonable ticket price, plus TV revenues. I can't see how somewhere like Spa can continue otherwise as there can't be a lot of income for the area (there is not a lot in the Spa area to spend money on).

CVC really need to look at their business models..
 

GeoffP

Thank you and good night
Contributor
The problem is that the commercial success brought about by Bernie has been made as a result of getting business behind the series, encouraging cross marketing, product placement etc.

That will be it's success and downfall - it has led to money, recognition and demand.

Only problem is that it has put the series on a commercial basis as well as the teams, therefore rather than focusing on the series as the raison d'etre for the commerce, each race has become a cost centre that requires individual justification. The belief being that as F1 reaches it's commercial twylight in Europe as a result of this model, it will be emerging in the East and therefore allow the commercial dream to continue to grow on the bottom line.

Because we are now a business model with far more customers available than are currently being sold to, the business will follow the market as opposed to customer loyalty - so we fans are not quite as important to F1 as we would like to think.

Methinks that the legislation regarding the Governance of an international sporting model should evolve to protect the interests of the fans and restrict the cost centre approach - omitting Spa will help the short term bottom line, but damage the series in its current form, therefore the series should be viewed as a respresentation of the fan base and if Spa needs support to maintain that model, so be it...

But, as they say, Dream On! :dunno:
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
frog-n-flymo said:
Because we are now a business model with far more customers available than are currently being sold to, the business will follow the market as opposed to customer loyalty - so we fans are not quite as important to F1 as we would like to think.
So the whole thing is to sell F1 to the Turks, Chinese etc. (I pick those two countries as they're just not buying!) Well, why would any potential sponsor want to sell to 30,000 Turks and a load of empty seats rather than 100,000 Frenchmen?

The fans are important to F1, frog-n-flymo, what sponsor wants to put his logo where no bugger is going to see it? Its just that the money men don't realise this because I characterise them as stupid.

If you've got no circuits, you've got no series, you've got no money. And then FOTA will give them a cheap deal and F1 will be dead. It is beginning. CVC and Ecclestone have to get a brain cell for once and put a stop to it before they have 4 circuits wanting Grand Prix and no sponsors!
 

GeoffP

Thank you and good night
Contributor
teabagyokel said:
The fans are important to F1, frog-n-flymo, what sponsor wants to put his logo where no bugger is going to see it? Its just that the money men don't realise this because I characterise them as stupid.
If you compare this to Bernie's press release from today about sponsors coming back to the sport and the commitment for an Indian GP in 2011 - I have to say it seems his take on priorities is clear, money and evolution.

Certainly F1 will not disappear from its European focus tomorrow, but as we have seen recently, sponsorship is a very fluid market, and the sponsors can pull back in the event they are not satisfied the sport attacts their target market, but should F1 migrate a list of sponsors from new territories will grow.

I wouldn't call the money men "stupid" necessarily, selfish, opportunistic b******* - YES! The Global economy has shifted East over recent years, and F1 as a high octane, glamorous, playboy style sport will be a growing attaction in these new markets.

Our only saving grace is the Night time and Twilight races - although I abhor the concept of these ideas it has shown that Bernie has had to back track in order to satisfy the European Audiences and Sponsors - for now.

If you take the 2010 calendar with 18 races, add India and maybe the US, you have to lose Spa or the UK, or the next one to be priced out of the market.

I don't like these ideas, but it's true, the fans are important to F1, but where will F1 find the biggest collections of fans with the largest disposable incomes? It may be right that it's only the European fans that will go and pack out a circuit, but right now the powers that be a dipping their toe in the water to see what the most profitable shape of F1 will be.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
I don't really have much to add, it's already been said many times over.

The problem now is Formula One is a business first and the entertainment element comes a very poor second, or possibly third.

Within the next 5 years I expect a lof of the old "traditional" circuits will have been priced out of the market and more and more races will be held on featureless, soulless circuits in the Middle East.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Having just watched the F1 Classic series on the BBC, frankly there can be no overtaking at all as long as there's no repeat of the disgusting cheating* by the stewards at last year's Belgian Grand Prix!
Brogan said:
Within the next 5 years I expect a lof of the old "traditional" circuits will have been priced out of the market and more and more races will be held on featureless, soulless circuits in the Middle East.
I characterise these people as stupid because they simply refuse to understand that they have a market and are in danger of losing their market by chasing the custom of people who simply don't give a fiddler's! This is not a normal business, this is sport!

Sports have homelands where they are popular and places where they are not and never will be. Is NFL Europe even existing now? Have the endless Chelsea/Milan/Celtic summer tours made "soccer" the ?1 game in the United States? Have these kind of branching outs from homelands ever worked?

Well, football is the template for this kind of thing, its expansion into Asia and Africa achieved, of course, by giving the two continents a bigger slice of the World Cup pie. The World Cup has not been held in Africa yet, but the success of African sides (with Cameroon 1990 as the best example) has made the sport popular. Australia showed no signs of looking twice at football until the Socceroos qualified to the 2006 World Cup!

It is simple, to be popular somewhere, there needs to be or to have been some success for that nation, or even someone to cheer on. In Spain it was Alonso, in Germany it was Schumacher. In Asia, the only F1 fanatic country is Japan, who have had a generation of mainly crap drivers. But they've been there!

Only Alex Yoong has come into F1 from the "new" Grand Prix countries! There is no-one within a huge radius of Turkey!

Argentina came third at the last Rugby World Cup. It must now have a slice of the rugby union pie. However, the "new" GP countries are not successful and hence will have no fans! You'd be better off in Finland, Bernie, and that's a fact!
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
I have to disagree with the yokel's football analogy as it is a truly global game........

However, it doesn't bode well for Europe with both India and South Korea pitching for GPs does it, yes a massive atvertising base but hardly a cauldron on motorsport (unless like me you have tried to ride a moped in Mumbi - then it's more like death race 2000)

So in theory in a few years you could have these races outside of Europe, (in no particular order)

Bahrain
Dubai
Singapore
South Korea
India
Japan
Malaysia
China
Australia
Brazil
Canada
US

Silly really
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Speshal said:
I have to disagree with the yokel's football analogy as it is a truly global game........
Not if you have a globe with the USA, Canada and New Zealand represented on it it isn't. I use that analogy because it is the only succesful colonising sport - ie. it spread from Europe/South America to Asia/Africa!

Speshal said:
Bahrain
Dubai
Singapore
South Korea
India
Japan
Malaysia
China
Australia
Brazil
Canada
US
Don't forget that F1's heartland ? Europe, it would be difficult to claim there is not a fanatical F1 following in Brazil, for example! And don't forget that these 12 GPs are not gospel - China may be pulling out, Japan doesn't really have enough money and Canada is pretty transitory at any rate.

Also, Dubai ? Abu Dhabi, that's like saying a race in Edinburgh would be in "England"!
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Yet another reason to hope Ari V gets elected?

Ari Vatanen has vowed to safeguard Formula 1's traditional races if he is elected as the new FIA president.

The Finnish rallying legend, who is going head to head with former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt in the race to succeed Max Mosley, believes F1's move towards untested markets at the expense of its established heartland in Europe could be costly.
From ITV: http://www.itv-f1.com/News_Article.aspx?id=46795&PO=46795
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
From the same site....

Bernie Ecclestone says the moves by the teams and the FIA to reduce the cost of competing in Formula 1 will ultimately result in a better deal for fans as ticket prices for races can also be reduced.

The sport's ringmaster said that one of the reasons why tickets for grands prix had become so expensive was because the teams needed as much revenue as possible from the races – and that if the teams' financial needs were lessened, that saving could also be passed on to F1's fans.
Did I read that correctly?
Bernie's saying the high ticket prices are due to the teams and not the tens of millions that the circuits have to pay to host a GP?

The guy really does live in a world of his own.

Bernie: GP ticket prices set to fall
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
latest news:

no more spa after 2012.

the local government no longer wants to pay, thats for sure now.

the current hope is for the race to move to Zolder. but Zolder is a category 2 cicuit and therefor not allowed to hold f1 races. to get F1 on Zolder it would take millions of investment. money which simply is not there.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Zolder? No, just no! There are some circuits which F1 should never return to - Las Vegas, Phoenix, Valencia (in fact any of the Spanish circuits I have ever watched a race at), Paul Ricard. I'm sure others can think of more.

Spa just can't be lost, this might be posturing by the circuit owners to try and get a reduction in costs. All I can say is I hope it works.
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
Bernie has said he for sure does not wants to drop the price for staging an F1 race, so once the contract with Spa ends in 2012 it seems like the end of the road. no pun intended.

Bernie's reason for not wanting to drop the price is twofold (1) if you want a high class event, its costs money, and (2) he claims he has 5 possibilities for new F1 races outside of Europe.

remember, the wallon government have to cut 1 billion over the next few years and the 4 million Spa loses, is a good start.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
bogaTYR said:
Bernie's reason for not wanting to drop the price is twofold (1) if you want a high class event, its costs money, and (2) he claims he has 5 possibilities for new F1 races outside of Europe.
Bernie's reasons for dropping the price is twofold (1) it won't be a high class event without its supporters, and (2) he won't have 5 possiblities outside Europe if he continues to charge as he does.

There's none so blind as those that will not see.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
There's more than likely a bit of posturing on both sides.
Hopefully agreement will be reached in time for 2013.

F1 without Spa would be like, well, F1 without Spa.
 
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