JULY 13, 2004

Silverstone hits 195,000

The British Grand Prix attracted 85,000 people more than it did in 2003, attracting a total of 195,000 spectators over two days and with very few complaints about traffic jams the race seems to have been a big success, evidence perhaps that changing the pricing structures is the way forward for race promoters. Magny-Cours also brought down prices this year and attracted a much bigger crowd than in previous years. It is very clear from these numbers that further reductions in ticket prices would push up the numbers more and if the tracks have the capacity could produce a bigger profit. The biggest problem for promoters remains the fact that the race fees demanded by the Formula One group are very high and that a lot of commercial opportunities are taken away in the contracts that they have to sign. Most of this money goes out of the sport.

There is no doubt that Silverstone is developing quickly with work going on to revamp the industrial areas and various other projects being undertaken. The British sports minister Richard Caborn says he is confident that the British Grand Prix will continue at the track for another two years and is still talking of developing the facility as "an industrial centre of excellence for motorsport".