MARCH 5, 2009
Belgium loses $4.7m
The Belgian Grand Prix last year lost $4.7m. The race day attendance was just 52,000, which was 10,000 down on the previous year. The race at Spa is seen as a major tourist event in the region and is funded by the government, but with such losses it will become hard to justify, particularly if the numbers do not get better in 2008. With the global recession this will be hard as people are not spending the kind of money that was once available. The one advantage that Belgium has this year is that there is no French Grand Prix and so there will be a number of fans who will be looking to go to other races to get their annual F1 fix. The bad news for the Belgians is that the British GP, the German GP and the Spanish GP are all looking for the same fans to help bolster their numbers. The Spanish recently announced that it is selling tickets in advance at a 5% discount. They are also targeting the British audience, hoping that Lewis Hamilton fans will consider a trip to Barcelona for the race.