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Author Topic: Empty stands in Turkey  (Read 1147 times)

Offline Scott

Empty stands in Turkey
« on: June 08, 2009, 05:13:54 PM »
I didn't actually notice that, but apparently there were about 20% of the seats taken.  I love Webber's comment that 'we should have let them in for free'.  I don't think Webber's salary would have covered Bernie's fee from the promoters.

From F1 Live:

Instead of covering grandstands with asphalt-coloured tarpaulin or removing trackside broadcast cameras, organisers of the Turkish Grand Prix should have swung open the gates, Mark Webber said after finishing second at Istanbul Park.

All weekend at the impressive Hermann Tilke-penned circuit, observers have marvelled at the scarcity of spectators, as did the Australian driver as he and his fellow drivers waved at near-empty grandstands while on the back of a slowly circulating flat-bed truck prior to Sunday's race.

"Jenson and I spoke about this on the parade lap, that to get some more people in here, to let them experience our sport, we should have let them in for free," said Webber.

Observers in Istanbul have wondered all weekend why some grandstands, built with multicoloured seats, had been covered at the last minute.

It turns out that it was to camouflage the fact that, from a helicopter's viewpoint, television viewers may have been unaware that a major motor sporting event was taking place below.

Sunday's official headcount was 36,000, at a venue whose capacity is in excess of 150,000.

"I am looking forward to Silverstone because I think it will be a great atmosphere, unlike here. There was no one here," Webber lamented.


The Honey Badger doesn't give a...

Offline Jericoke

Re: Empty stands in Turkey
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2009, 05:34:47 PM »
36,000?

You can get that at a Wednesday afternoon baseball game in Chicago.

That's absolutely embarassing.

Do Turks not like F1?  Can they not afford the race?  Are there no hotels for visitors?

FOM looks more and more like a house of cards, and if things go sour in Donnington, that could end F1 faster than Ferrari leaving.


Offline Willy

Re: Empty stands in Turkey
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2009, 07:38:52 PM »
As the track is only used once a year, for the Turkish GP, there appears to be not an huge motor racing following in Turkey.

No way could the organizers let crowds in for free when this past weekend is the only money making venture on the calender.

They need to promote the track for other classes as well as Moto-GP etc, and folks will come to see how great motor-car racing truly is.

The old adage of "if you build it, they will come" is not so true when "they" don't know what "it" is.

Offline Jericoke

Re: Empty stands in Turkey
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2009, 08:00:33 PM »
As the track is only used once a year, for the Turkish GP, there appears to be not an huge motor racing following in Turkey.

No way could the organizers let crowds in for free when this past weekend is the only money making venture on the calender.

They need to promote the track for other classes as well as Moto-GP etc, and folks will come to see how great motor-car racing truly is.

The old adage of "if you build it, they will come" is not so true when "they" don't know what "it" is.

Are any other F1 tracks limited to one weekend a year?

Seems like a crazy business plan to me.

Monaco, Singapore, Valencia and (formerly..) Montreal are all once a year tracks, but they pull double duty as city streets for most of the year!

Indy was a once a year track for a long time, but even they opened up to 3 races a year.

Offline John S

Re: Empty stands in Turkey
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2009, 08:09:19 PM »
Yeah but these other once a year tracks are not located miles from a big population.
Racing is life - everything else is just waiting. (Steve McQueen)

Offline Dare

Re: Empty stands in Turkey
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2009, 01:13:12 AM »
When the Indy 500 was the only show at the Indy brickyard
it lasted the whole month of May
"The
democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those
who are
willing to work and give to those who would not."
--
Thomas
Jefferson

Offline John S

Re: Empty stands in Turkey
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2009, 01:41:11 AM »

Sounds like Bernie's passing the buck again in the following piece, surely if he rents the track he must know from his contract and not simply believe someone else is responsible for promotion.

Bernie Ecclestone has blamed Turkish officials for the apparent failure of the country's Formula One foray.

Istanbul Park, having first hosted the Grand Prix in 2005, boasts highly impressive circuit facilities and arguably the best layout penned by Hermann Tilke.

F1 chief executive Ecclestone now rents the track from the Istanbul chamber of commerce, but believes the promotion of the event is up to the locals.

Watching Sunday's Grand Prix from his London home with a Daily Express reporter, the 78-year-old admitted his concern about the almost totally empty grandstands.

Only 32,000 spectators were present during the race at the 130,000 capacity venue. Organisers even covered completely empty grandstands with a dark-coloured material in order to prevent the brightly-coloured seats from appearing on television.

Camera angles were also adjusted to avoid showing the many seats which remained empty during the whole weekend.

"I need to speak to the Turkish Prime Minister soon and see what the future of the circuit is. 
 
They just don't promote the race," Ecclestone charged.

It is known that Ecclestone has already served notice that the track's agreement to stage the annual race is under review for 2011 and beyond.

Mark Webber said after finishing second on Sunday that the problem may be that tickets are too expensive.

But Ecclestone believes the market is there.

"They have a huge catchment area of East European and Middle East countries. The layout is brilliant, they just don't promote it," said Ecclestone, before joking: "Maybe they could move the whole thing to Britain."

D.B. © CAPSIS International






Racing is life - everything else is just waiting. (Steve McQueen)

Offline lkjohnson1950

Re: Empty stands in Turkey
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2009, 06:54:04 AM »
When will Bernie learn that F1 is built on fans. You can run all the races in palatial settings that you want to, but if nobody comes the track and the event will die. He may hate Silverstone, but it is packed every year, ditto Canada. :fool:

Lonny
Lonny

Offline Scott

Re: Empty stands in Turkey
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2009, 08:31:29 AM »
I thought if you rent a track for a race, you ARE the promoter, and the buck stops there.  If he spent a few pennies on advertising, maybe he'd get somewhere...oh I forgot, it is against his very being to take money out of his wallet, he is only able to put money into it.

Bernie is a joke.  He is responsible for filling the seats in Turkey, not the Turkish government.
The Honey Badger doesn't give a...

Offline Alianora La Canta

Re: Empty stands in Turkey
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2009, 10:59:30 AM »
So one-ninth of those who bought three-day tickets didn't bother to see the race? That shows something is very, very wrong in how that race is organised.

If Bernie is getting worse results than even Bahrain (which got about 40,000), then that shows that it is his abilities as an organiser of the race rather than anything else that causes the lack of spectators. This doesn't seem to me to be an underling problem because it was fine until last year.

The irony is that central promotion is done by FOM/CVC, which means... ...Bernie's organisation. Yet Bernie cannot even convince locals to come. Surely this is going to advance the day when CVC replaces him with someone else, possibly simplifying the corporate structures in the process.

As for the tickets being too expensive, they are €45. That should be within the range of the average Turk (though the frustration of queueing for ages to cross the Bosphorous may put locals off). Next year, I think I might well go to Turkey at that price (since for the Donington race my accommodation/food costs are zero and travel expenses minimal).
Percussus resurgio
@lacanta (Twitter)
http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)

Offline cosworth151

Re: Empty stands in Turkey
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2009, 01:11:14 PM »
Remember a few years ago, when Bernie was proposing a "V.I.P. Only" F1 race, which would bar us serfs completely? It sounds like several of the newer races are almost there.
“You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
― Bob Dylan

 


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