OCTOBER 16, 2003
Formula 1's problem this year has been filling the grandstands but the sport is still financially sound with the Formula One group continuing to rake in huge sums of money in TV right sales and race fees. In addition the trackside advertising and corporate hospitality business is ticking over nicely with Allsport Management in Geneva continuing to pick up large checks all along the way.
This is in sharp contrast to CART's financial woes this year with the business losing piles of money as it tries to convert itself to the F1 model of funding. Despite the problems the series is certainly pulling in the people with a three-day attendance figure in Mexico City last weekend of 402,413, including a massive race day crowd of 221,011.
In part this was due to the fact that there were six Mexicans racing in CART but also because ticket prices are kept reasonable.
For most of the year F1 crowds have been down by around 10% over previous years although the events in Indianapolis and Japan bucked the trend.
It is worth noting that while the Indy Racing League seems to be going from strength to strength in the United States, the attendance figures are still very low although this probably helped to save the series from a serious problem last weekend in Texas when Kenny Brack's car cartwheeled into the debris fencing and shattered the grandstand with wreckage. Thankfully the seats were all empty...
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