Barcelona, Spain, May 7 (EFE).- The Spanish Grand Prix is going ahead this weekend without the usual crowds thanks to Covid-19, which not only means empty stands at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya but also a drop in the local income generated when the Formula One circus comes to town.
Back in 2019, just over 160,400 spectators came to Montmeló to watch the practice and qualifying sessions on Friday and Saturday and another 87,500 paid to watch the Grand Prix on the Sunday.
This year, only 1,000 spectators will be able to access the circuit, all located in the main grandstand.
According to the DEP Institut, a research firm, Formula One generated some 188 million euros in the towns around the Circuit in 2014 and 163 million in 2015. Business-Sport.es said that out of all the stops in the F1 season, the Spanish Grand Prix had the fourth biggest impact on the local economy.
“The sale of tickets and hospitality is the only income the Circuit has during the Grand Prix and (this year) it doesn’t even cover the costs of the venue,” Josep Lluís Santamaría, the director-general of the race track, told Efe.
Before the pandemic, 80% of spectators at the Spanish Grand Prix came from abroad and, when at full capacity, ticket sales could top 10 million euros.
Conversely, when tickets were first launched for 2021 — before they were limited again due to the pandemic — some 80% of purchasers were from Spain.
“It’s important to highlight the revenue in the territory, which in a normal year is around 163 million euros, which in this case would comfortably cover the costs,” he added.
The surrounding territory in this case includes Barcelona’s suburbs and the metropolitan area, which is just 20 kilometers from the race track.EFE