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SBD Global/July 25, 2014/Events and Attractions

Mexico To End 23-Year Absence With 2015 Return To Formula 1 Calendar

Live events company CIE President Alejandro Soberon confirmed on Wednesday that Mexico is to return to the F1 calendar in '15 after a "23-year absence," according to Tony Goodson of REUTERS. Soberon said, "Start your engines, F1 will return to Mexico next year." CIE announced to the Mexican stock exchange on Tuesday it has signed a "five-year contract to host Formula One races but that the deal was still subject to final negotiations." The race will be held at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone confirmed the deal, saying, "We have got Mexico past the post" (REUTERS, 7/24). In London, Mark Bryans reported Mexican Force India driver Sergio Perez believes the return of the Mexico Grand Prix can show the country as "the best in the world." For Perez, the fifth Mexican to compete in F1, a "renovated circuit and a first race in 23 years gives his homeland a chance to showcase what they can do." He said, "The return of F1 to our country is a sign that the Mexican state can achieve anything" (INDEPENDENT, 7/24).

PRICE OF ADMISSION: In Mexico City, Juan Pablo Sánchez reported to "give an idea of the price of tickets," one should look at the closest GPs to Mexico. For example, in Austin, Texas, "where the annual GP draws hundreds of Mexicans every year," the price of a three-day ticket ranges from $169 for general admission to $1,200 for club seats. For the Canadian Grand Prix, a three-day ticket in GrandStand 1 -- the best section -- costs $521, while the cheapest, for one day in general admission, costs $90. The announcement of F1's return included "some changes for fans." There will be a "paddock club for 5,000 featuring, among other things, TVs and a bar." There will also be a renovation of the stands for 42,000 fans in the Foro Sol, as well as temporary seating that will hold 75,000. Organizers indicated that in total, the circuit will accommodate 120,000 seated fans and an additional 30,000 in the general admission section, making the total capacity 150,000 (LA AFICION, 7/24).

BASEBALL CLUB COULD LOSE HOME: In Mexico City, Miguel Boada Nájera reported Mexican Baseball League (LMB) side Diablos Rojos "will play at the circuit's Foro Sol through the end of the current season, but what will happen in '15 is an unkown." The renovations that will be made at the Hermanos Rodriguez track "will prevent the facility used as a baseball park from being used for the LMB season." It gives the club "two paths: finish the construction of a new stadium or look for another place to play." Diablos Rojos President Jorge Alum said, "What is a reality is that the issue of having our own stadium is more important than ever. We have been in search of a home and this news could be a spark. We do not want to advance anything until we are first officially notified, independent of what has been reported, that Formula 1 is returning to Mexico. What is true is that it is unlikely the Foro Sol will be the team's home next year." It was confirmed that the racetrack "will enter the Foro Sol area, and this plus the other repairs to the circuit will require the site to be closed to the public for several months." Diablos Rojos Owner Alfredo Harp Helú in February again addressed the topic of the team having its own ballpark. The "main problem with this is that a new stadium could not be completed in time for next season." The other option is "playing outside Mexico City." Possible options outside the city are "Puebla, Aguascalientes (where the team has previously held games) and Oaxaca" (LA AFICION, 7/24).
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