Why is it so expensive to watch an F1 race?

This topic contains 13 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Alianora La Canta 6 years, 1 month ago.

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    Lets leave the SKY problems out of this topic… but why is it so expensive to watch F1.

    I appreciate that nothing is cheap these days. I know people who bidded 1000 to watch the opening ceremony at the London Olympics and others who bidded 400 for 2 Olympic basketball tickets and only won one of them!

    But back to F1. Whenever I go to Silverstone I’m fortunate enough to get VIP access and hospitality but I always look at the prices and wonder how people can afford it. I must admit that it furiates me that 90% of people in the VIP hospitality haven’t paid for their tickets and don’t even like F1 and then you have the hard core fans who love the sport and will sit in the rain on a patch of muddy grass and pay 200+.

    I’m not saying that F1 isn’t worth it, but the sport is cash rich and it doesn’t cost as much as you think to run an GP weekend. They make enough profit from that one weekend at Silverstone to keep the circuit and support races functioning for the rest of the year…. so why not make the tickets a little cheaper???



    To be honest I can’t really complain about the prices. I found Silverstone incredibly good value for money last year (~150.00 for a weekend GA ticket) and this year i’ve paid ~80.00 for the equivalent at Monza.

    I struggle to believe that Silverstone make enough money from one F1 GP weekend to be financially sound for the rest of that year given that they they had secure a 17 year contract with FOM to ensure enough money was coming to the circuit to pay for necessary upgrades.

    But expensive is a relative term so Im interested to hear other views.

    Regarding VIP hospitalityit would be a nightmare for security and F1 teams to walk about the restricted areas if it was full of hardcore fans!



    Don’t get me wrong, the atmosphere is awesome but when you look at the prices of tickets for other sports the comparison leaves a bitter taste. It’s about 45 to watch a Man United premiership match at home, around 70 for a day of international test cricket and 108 will buy you a 3 day “gold” ticket for the World Superbikes with paddock entry.

    I think the price of tickets could be a big contributing factor for the sport failing to appeal in some countries. If you take the US for example, why would Americans pay $100 for an F1 ticket when they could watch a sport that they actually get (like Indy 500) for $30 per ticket!



    You’re forgetting the huge amount the circuits pay to Bernie to host the race. That’s the cost that’s hard to cover, not so much running the GP.



    Check out this weeks MCN (Motorcycle News) there’s a good article in there about the recent Silverstone World Superbike race and the organisers explain that the reason the WSB’S didn’t have all of the big TV screens and other spectator facilities that were avilable during the F1 and MotoGP events was due to the low price of the tickets.

    I know this doesn’t explain all of the price difference but if you want big screen TV’s and other spectator facilities then you’ve got to pay for them.



    Obviously Bernie is robbing them!



    Matt90 has it spot on. The circuits make their money solely from the tickets (plus of course sponsorship deals, which accounts for some of those VIPs). Amazingly they still make a profit. I know what you’re thinking, but if they spent that profit solely on subsidising tickets it’s probably be about 5 less per person on a 100+ ticket.

    Silverstone is also the only GP venue not to receive government subsidies, I believe.



    Dont forget that a ticket for the football is for less then 2hrs, theres no pre-match entertainment or support matches, and theres +30 of them per year. A GP comes around every 12months and has 3 days of driving and support races. It looks a lot better when you work it out that way. Still expensive, but could be a lot more!



    I have to say I find the British GP ticket prices offputting, I live nearby so I wouldn’t even need to pay for accomodation/much travelling. I have been to Silverstone a few times but only for touring/GT races, they’re usually around 25 for a day. Other than the big screens and Bernie, is there anything the circuit has to stump up for that could be contributing to the cost?



    I think as far as the British GP is concerned, it’s a matter of supply vs. demand. If it sells out at that price as it did this year, why reduce it?



    That’s a good point. They want to make as much money as they can. If it sells out, then they can probably justify increasing prices a little. Plus they have just had a very expensive set of upgrades at Silverstone…



    You can’t compare a football match to F1.

    The British GP is only once a year

    There are loads of top flight football matches in the UK.

    You also have to remember that the tracks pay to host and normally that is an awful lot of money.

    This is caused by the highest bidder system.



    I wish F1 tickets didn’t cost as much as they do, but I understand why. Bernie demands huge amounts of money for a circuit to host a GP, but that’s the way it has to be. And so the cost HAS to be passed down to attendants, otherwise circuits could never afford to host a race.

    Whilst I would love to go to races more often, it’s not the end of the World. The TV coverage is superb (so far), and whilst you don’t get the atmosphere and some of the excitement, I don’t mind too much.


    Alianora La Canta

    Silverstone has to have, and pay for, a bespoke policing arrangement just for the race because there are so many people in attendance. It also has to have all its facilities open (some of them are only used once per year, and others only for the larger events). Some of the grandstands are only used once per year as well, meaning there are building and take-down costs (maintaining them would be pricier).

    The main thing (that applies to every race, not just Silverstone) is the Bernie fee. The remaining income tides the circuit over each year in combination with profits from other events – and Silverstone has to balance the books because it knows it will not get government handouts directly. The BRDC got some for grassroots sports, but the British Grand Prix is emphatically not “grassroots sports”.

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