Less is more for Silverstone organizers

Tue Mar 3, 2015 7:39am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - While Germany's Formula One Grand Prix hangs in the balance, hit by dwindling crowds and rising losses, Britain's Silverstone circuit believes it can make money and attract more fans by charging less.

The 'Lewis Hamilton effect' has helped boost British Grand Prix ticket sales, with home fans eager to see their champion in action, but organizers say the decision to cut prices is as significant.

A promotion offering 1,000 Sunday general admission tickets for 99 pounds ($150) each was sold out in 22 minutes.

So great was the demand that the offer was kept open for a day and 6,000 tickets sold -- many then upgraded to grandstand seats that were also reduced in price.

The circuit's newly appointed managing director Patrick Allen told Reuters that making the race more accessible was the focus now.

"We were asking families to pay over 1,000 pounds to come for a weekend. I don't think that's accessible," he said.

"I was horrified when I came in that a family from Britain could get on a plane, go to Spa, watch the race and fly back again for less than they can come to our home grand prix."

Allen said Silverstone had also revamped the policy for children, with under-11s now coming in free with an adult compared to under two in the past.   Continued...