The crowd numbers game

Imola may have signed a new deal for the San Marino Grand Prix to go on until 2009 but the race organisers need to face up to the fact that spectator numbers are not great.

Like many European promoters SAGIS, a subsidiary of the Automobile Club di Bologna, has been struggling to find the money to upgrade the circuit facilities and ticket sales are the one important source of funding left.

This year the race attracted a Sunday crowd of 65,000 (compared to 88,200 last year). The three day figure this year was 100,000 compared to 138,000 last year and 192,500 back in 2000.

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