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Indian GP ticket prices slashed

2011-10-25 08:01

MUMBAI, India - Tickets for the inaugural Indian Formula 1 GP have not sold out, forcing the organisers to slash prices in an effort to fill the 120 000-capacity circuit.

Tickets were still available online in all but the cheapest category.

The Jaypee group, which has spent the equivalent of R3.1bn on building the Buddh circuit, said it still hoped to sell the remaining tickets.

A spokesperson told AFP: “We’ve sold close to 80 000 tickets, which is pretty encouraging considering it’s the first F1 race in the country. We would have been happier had we sold 90% of tickets because ticket sales are the only source of revenue for us. But there are still a few days to go - we're keeping our fingers crossed."

The business conglomerate has also decided to offer discounted race-day tickets in the hope of boosting sales.

The spokesperson added: "Fans can now opt for only race day tickets at discounted price instead of the season tickets which are a little on the high side. A lot of big companies are also in the process of booking corporate boxes.”

At 2500 rupees, the cheapest ticket is also far beyond the reach of the vast majority of people in the country.

'IT'S GOING TO BE BIG'

Organisers have showcased engines and put an F1 car on display at various city hot spots; Indian newspapers have been stoking the buzz, devoting full pages to explaining the technicalities of the sport.

Overall media coverage of the F1 championship, already won by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, has been overshadowed by the one-day cricket series between India and England.

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton, however, had no doubt the Indian race would be well-attended. He said: "We did a demo run in Bangalore and were expecting 5000 people. On the day there were around 40 000 fans. It was just incredible...

"You can't believe how many people are aware of F1 and how many are looking forward to the race. There's already a great deal of knowledge about the sport. I think it's going to be a big deal."

AFP