By Andy Sambidge
Yas Marina Circuit CEO sees sales growth in Australia, UK, Europe and US markets
Organisers of this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix have announced the event has sold out for the fourth consecutive year.
“We are set for one of the most exciting Abu Dhabi Race weekends to date, “said Richard Cregan, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit.
“The buzz on the track today has been fantastic. People are happy and smiling, lots of families. It really is great, and a testament to the quality of the race and Abu Dhabi as a world-class host.”
According to the circuit, 35 percent of ticket sales were from regional and international fans, who will be visiting Abu Dhabi this weekend.
Key international growth markets for this year's race include Australia, UK, Europe and the US.
Separately, the sport's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said that Formula One is unlikely to float on the stock market before 2014.
"The market's going to take a little bit of settling down, I think," the 82-year-old billionaire told Reuters in the paddock at the UAE race track.
"I think we ought to forget about it for next year," added Ecclestone. "In my opinion we ought to (forget about 2013). I should think by 2014 the world will have sorted itself out a little bit better."
The owners of Formula One had been preparing a $3bn initial public offering (IPO) in Singapore last June but decided to hold off as global markets tumbled and investor mood soured after Facebook's plunge in value following its flotation.For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
When will they realise that this weekend package for the tickets just isn't the way forward? I have just watched practice 2 and it's about 5% capacity as old the die hard will use these tickets. We attended last year on the Saturday and also could have picked any seat. Sell the tickets individually and offer Friday at a much reduced rate and you will open the event to others and the stands will be full. Greedy organisers ignoring the needs of fans. The track looks amazing thanks to the Viceroy but a boring track and empty stands do not reflect well.
Sold out? Hardly surprising considering the organizers have offered a free ticket to Kylie Minogue's Abu Dhabi concert for the same weekend.
Obviously, a free concert was needed to entice people to buy the F1 tickets, without of which the race would have been 30% sold out - at best.
Love the race ! But I agree with James lack of full house takes away from the experience. Announcing sold out tickets and then having no fan support does not send positive note for such a exciting world class event.
Which is a smart thing to do.
More than a 3rd of the seats in the Marina Grandstand were empty during the race yesterday. No way was it a sell out