Perhaps spurred by the ongoing title battle between Brawn and Red Bull, organisers of the second Singapore Grand Prix have revealed that they have responded to demand for tickets by adding extra grandstand seats to the previously announced 82,000 available for each day of the meeting.
More than 80 per cent of the currently available grandstand and walkabout capacity for the event has already been taken up, with 94 per cent of the tickets sold covering all three days. Additionally, 81 per cent of the Pit Grandstand has been sold, while 83 per cent and 86 per cent of the Bay and Esplanade Waterfront Grandstands have both been snapped up respectively.
Both Saturday and Sunday single-day walkabout tickets are completely sold out, with the three-day walkabout ticket expected to be completely taken up by the middle of next week.
“The increased momentum in sales as the race dates approach is something that we expected might happen as other F1 circuits traditionally experience the same buying pattern, " executive director Michael Roche commented, "Whilst we never thought we would eclipse the remarkable attendance of our inaugural race, we are delighted with such positive sales and still have a little under a month to the race.”
Industry observers point out that established circuits often experience a decline in attendance ranging from 20-30 per cent between the inaugural race and second year, and Roche admits that that had been taken into account when planning for 2009. However, the ongoing title battle and recently announced off-track entertainment package have both helped to boost interest.
“We did factor in this phenomenon when budgeting for this year's race," Roche noted, "It was one of the main drivers for ensuring the entertainment options, from Backstreet Boys to Travis, were considerably beefed up from last year.
"It is clear that the renewed interest in the championship and the strong entertainment line-up both around the circuit and in Singapore as a whole is a strong draw. All said, it does look like we are on track to exceed our expectations."
Nearly a thousand seats will be added to the Pit and Turn Three grandstands, bumping up the overall number on offer to around 83,000, but, with slightly under four weeks to go before the race, SGP is not discounting the idea of adding more, as they did in 2008 with seating around the Marina Bay Street Circuit being built to order.