MARCH 15, 2006
One last thought about Bahrain
The Grand Prix in Bahrain may be doing wonders for the reputation of the city and there is clear development going on all over the island but this does not seem to have had much of effect on the crowds. In 2005 the circuit said that it had attracted 77,257 spectators over three days. This year's post-race figures were 32,500 seats sold, an attendance of 40,000 and a weekend crowd total of a rather blurry "over 77,000". Vagueness is never a good sign, particularly given the precise numbers in 2005 and the reality is that the number of paying spectators may even have dropped because there were free three-day tickets available free of charge for students at Bahrain University, which is located next to the circuit.
Clearly, as Malaysia has found in the past, building up a strong spectator base in a place with no racing culture is not the work of a moment.
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