The impressive turnout of fans at the Valencia test last week led many to conclude that F1 races would draw larger audiences if ticket prices weren’t so high.
But F1 tickets aren’t that much more expensive than those for other major sporting events – especially when you consider a Grand Prix runs over three days. Are they really too expensive?
Last month we took a detailed look at the prices of F1 tickets for different races in 2010 and found massive variations in price.
A three-day ticket to the Turkish Grand Prix will let you back less than twenty pounds, while the same ticket for Silverstone costs over ?é?ú130 – and that, remember, is the ‘seat not included’ price.
But other major sporting events aren’t that much cheaper to attend.
Tickets for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa this year peak at ?é?ú576 ($900) for the final. Assuming the match finishes without extra time, that’s ?é?ú6.40 per minute. Tickets may change hands for far more than that, though the football authorities go to considerable lengths to stop it from happening.
The cheapest tickets for the earlier matches start at around ?é?ú51 which is about as much as you’d pay to go to a Premier League match here in England.
Once the tournament reaches the quarter final stages most tickets are over the ?é?ú100 mark and you won’t get into the final for less than ?é?ú250.
Tickets for the Wimbledon tennis tournament are sold per day rather than per match, with later days costing more because that’s when the most important matches take place.
Prices for the final five days of play are ?é?ú85 or more, reaching a high of ?é?ú104 for the final day.
The format of The Open golf tournament is a little like F1 in that spectators have a choice between standing and seating. However grandstands are few and far between whereas in F1 the majority of spectators sit in grandstands.
Tickets to the event on championship days cost ?é?ú60. But access to one of the grandstands is a hefty ?é?ú240.
I haven’t written this to say “other sports are rubbish, F1 is better value”. My point is that when we compare ticket prices for different sports we need to remember we aren’t comparing apples with apples.
Paying ?é?ú230 for a three-day seat at the British Grand Prix isn’t cheap, but you’re not just getting a two-hour F1 race: there’s five hours of practice and qualifying, plus two GP2 races, two Formula BMW races, GP3 and Porsche races, and all their practice and qualifying sessions too. (See the ’2010 F1 races’ links at the foot of the page for details of the support races at each round).
It’s tempting to argue that circuit organisers should cut ticket prices and let more people, but they don’t always have that choice. Silverstone is not increasing its race-day attendance of 120,000 despite building its new ‘Arena’ circuit this year because of the additional problems it would cause for people getting into and out of the track, as well as providing sufficient food, drink, toilet and other facilities.
Ultimately, ticket prices are what they are because of the prices circuits are charged to hold races – and we all know who sets those rates.
Do you think F1 fans are paying too much for tickets? What’s the most you’ve paid to go to an F1 race? Have your say below.
Compare prices for F1 tickets: 2010 F1 ticket prices
Going to a Grand Prix in 2010? Swap notes with other fans who are going to these races:
- 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 Australian Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 Chinese Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 Spanish Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 Monaco Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 Turkish Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 Canadian Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 European Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 British Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 German Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 Belgian Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 Italian Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 Singapore Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 Japanese Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 Korean Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix discussion
- 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix discussion