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SBD Global/March 12, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Bernie Ecclestone Says 'Europe Isn’t What It Was,' Expansion A Natural Step Forward
Published March 12, 2013
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NEW REVENUE STREAMS: A major reason for F1 to look for new markets is Europe’s struggling economy, which sees unemployment rates in motorsports-crazed countries like Spain and Italy of more than 20% and 10%, respectively. Asked about the biggest obstacles of hosting an F1 race, Circuit de Catalunya GM Salvador Servià said, “The biggest obstacle is the economy, as the country and the whole world is immersed in a big crisis, and this makes everything more difficult.” Servià added: “An F1 Grand Prix has an economic impact of €160M ($209M) for Catalonia, and a TV impact in all the world of approximately €150M ($196M)." The big economic return of hosting an F1 race is hardly enough anymore, as even legendary racetracks such as the Nürburgring in Germany had to file for bankruptcy, which it did in October. Ecclestone, however, is not overly concerned about these developments and said that he wasn’t surprised by Nürburgring’s struggles, citing operational issues as the reason for its bankruptcy. Despite the continent’s economic problems, Europe is still the heart of F1. All 11 teams that will participate in the ‘13 season are based in Europe; eight of them are located in the U.K. In addition, Formula One Management, the commercial rights holder of F1, has its headquarters in London. But for F1, the pulse of its following comes from Europe, with a fan base far exceeding any other parts of the world.
CONQUERING NEW TERRITORIES: Servià said, “The whole country loves motorsports.” He added the Spanish Grand Prix works “because fortunately, we have lots of motorsport enthusiasts who attend the Grand Prix and the rest of the races we hold during the season, such as MotoGP. We also have the know-how and 22 consecutive years organizing Grand Prix.” Asked his opinion on F1’s push into new markets outside of Europe, Servià said: “It’s understandable to conquer emergent countries who want to project their images over the world, also because they are prosperous countries in economic terms. But it’s really important to find a balance between countries with a long tradition in motorsports in Europe and new markets abroad.”
F1 Global Expansion Series Part 2 -- North America.
F1 Global Expansion Series Part 3 -- Asia.
F1 Global Expansion Series Part 4 -- Australia.