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March deadline for Zandvoort

NEWS STORY
04/03/2019

In an open letter to the Netherlands Minister of Sport, its Vice Minister of Economic Affairs, the Provinces of Noord-Holland and Drenthe, the Cities of Zandvoort and Assen and Formula One Management, Netherlands Sports Council (NLSportraad), has called on businesses to support the idea of the Dutch Grand Prix returning to the F1 calendar.

Last month it was revealed that there will be no government funding for a Dutch Grand Prix, sports minister, Bruno Bruins, stating that the government could not invest in such an event as it would not be a justifiable use of taxpayers money.

While both Zandvoort and Assen were said to be under consideration, following media reports that Formula One Management had "reached an agreement in principle with Zandvoort to stage a Grand Prix in 2020, 2021 and 2022, which would appeared to rule out a deal with Assen", the open letter confirms that Zandvoort signed a letter of intent with FOM in mid-December and now has until March 31 to sort out the necessary finances.

While the Dutch government admitted last month that it wished to "facilitate the organisation of Formula 1 events in terms of infrastructure, security, licenses etc" it also made clear that "it would not subsidise these races", consequently NLsportraad reveals that it "decided to collect further information".

Confirming that Zandvoort is "trying its best to find large sponsor partners" by the deadline set by FOM, NLsportraad states that "there are sponsor parties that are interested but their confidence in the business case of Zandvoort might have decreased because the central government chose to only facilitate the plans and not provide subsidy", adding that "the confidence of companies increases when the central government is willing to facilitate and invest. Sport events flourish with public-private partnerships".

NLsportraad notes also that while Zandvoort appreciates it needs to make improvements in order to host an F1 Grand Prix, it "has not received much support from the surrounding cities and the Province of Noord-Holland", while rival potential host Assen's bid was partly due to "a foreign investor who is prepared to vouch for the costs for the fee. In addition Assen has support from the province of Drenthe and the city of Assen".

Making clear that it is "not in a position to judge which of the very different business cases is best for the event, the region or Dutch society as a whole", NLsportraad states that FOM has "made it clear that Zandvoort is the only candidate in the Netherlands suitable to organise a Formula 1 race".

In conclusion, NLsportraad appeals to private businesses for their support, stating that "co-operation is crucial: between private and public parties, within the public sector, and between government departments".

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Ro, 04/03/2019 17:59

"Sorry, Ive been to Zaandvoort, and its a horrible distant track. Souless and useless for spectators. Piers Courage, Roger Williamson, both died there. Its a death trap. "

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