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Low cost tickets impact Silverstone finances

NEWS STORY
06/10/2016

While 139,000 eager fans passed through the turnstiles over the course of this year's British Grand Prix weekend - admittedly, a thousand down on 2015 - the circuit still faces another hefty financial loss.

An airline style pricing sysym saw tickets on sale for as little as 99, but with the increasing hosting fees (currently 19.9m a year) and no government assistance, the circuit, the circuit, which reported a 55.9m loss in 2015, looks set for another bad year.

"With an ever-increasing hosting fee, this means that the Grand Prix's contribution to profit will be less than last year," said Silverstone's chairman, John Grant in a letter to shareholders, "so that we now expect… to make a loss for the year and miss the year-two target of our three-year plan."

For the British circuit, which is owned by the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), a group of 850 mainly private shareholders, the Grand Prix is the jewel in its crown accounting for half the parent company's 54.7m revenue. Therefore, as we are now in October, there appears little chance of balancing the books.

A 33m deal to lease the track to Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), which wanted to use it as a high-speed test track, broke down when it emerged that Porsche, which runs a driving centre at the circuit, has a veto over rival manufacturers using the track for more than 45 days a year.

While other third-party bids, including that of Jonathan Palmer's MotorSport Vision (MSV), for the entire track are being considered, the BRDC is also considering remaining as landlord and raising funding from multiple partnership deals. A decision is expected by the end of the month.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Suzuka, here.

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1. Posted by Jonno, 06/10/2016 21:36

"Time to tell FOM where they can stick their race. Silverstone have been screwed over for years, they've had to sell off land to subsidise the race and are stil knee deep in debt. They threw money at a badly designed pit complex that they can't even afford to have connected to the national grid. Fans no longer enjoy going there, it's on the greasy slope, it's time to get off.
"

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2. Posted by mickl, 06/10/2016 16:54

"The problem with Silverstone these days is unless you pay for a grandstand seat, there's only a couple of places on the track where you can actually view the race as they flattened a lot of the viewing spots when they built the new pit complex. So unless you're there at 1am to queue to get in and grab a spot at one the remaining hillocks that are higher than the barriers you're only going to be staring at a tyre barrier with a general admittance ticket as elevated areas get over crowded."

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3. Posted by edllorca, 06/10/2016 15:40

"The title is wrong. It should read: F1 exorbitant hosting fees affect Silverstone finances."

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4. Posted by Mad Matt, 06/10/2016 13:35

""as little as 99": Not my idea of little.

F1 needs good tracks like Silverstone so I hope the new owners recognise this and stop trying to gouge the tracks for every last penny. It's better for F1 if tracks are kept based on how good they are (and a bit of history), rather than if the government or local billionaire will subsidise it."

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