Singapore Secures Formula 1 Future With Four-Year Extension Through' 21
The Singapore Grand Prix will stay on the Formula 1 calendar until '21, the sport and race organizers confirmed on Friday, after agreeing to a four-year contract extension, according to Abhishek Takle of REUTERS. Sunday’s race in the city-state "would otherwise have been the last." The sport’s first night race marked its 10th anniversary this year and has "established itself as one of the most popular and glamorous" of F1's events. Cars drive around a floodlit street circuit "through the heart of Singapore against a backdrop of glittering skyscrapers while spectators are entertained by headline music acts." Calvin Harris, Ariana Grande and Seal were "on the bill this year." The race, which will remain 60% funded by the government, costs "some" S$150M ($111.58M) to put on every year but Singapore Trade & Industry Minister S. Iswaran said that would be going down to S$135M ($100.4M) a year. It has also contributed S$1.4B ($1B) in tourism receipts to Singapore over the past decade and drawn over 450,000 int'l visitors, according to the Singapore Tourism Board (REUTERS, 9/15). ASIA SPONSORSHIP NEWS reported there "were fears" that the appeal of the Singapore GP "was fading" after ticket sales for last year’s event fell. Last year's daily average attendance of 73,000 was the lowest in nine years but this year’s race experienced a year-to-date 19% increase in ticket sales, "with the weekend sales still to be included.” It remains to be seen if this was a "bubble induced by the possibility of this being the last race in Singapore." One thing "that is 99% certain is a new title sponsor." Singapore Airlines’ deal with the race ends this year and with few home-grown brands able to afford the 8-figure price tag, "it may be that a non-Singaporean brand takes on the title" (ASIA SPONSORSHIP NEWS, 9/17).