The promoter of the Canadian Grand Prix has revealed that the 2012 race is unlikely to be a sellout, with threats to disrupt the race being blamed on the falling ticket sales.
A crowd of 115,000 attended on race day last year with the weekend attendance topping 300,000 but those numbers are set to fall due to concerns that students who are protesting against a rise in tuition fees would disrupt the event.
The planned 'Open Day' event that should have taken place today [Thursday] has already been cancelled.
“They said they wanted to disrupt the Grand Prix,” Francois Dumontier, president of event promoters the Octane Racing Group, told the Montreal Gazette
. “They already have. I can't remember the last time we didn't sell out. It's been that long. Depending on the weather, and the hype generated on Thursday and during Friday's practice, we can sell more tickets this weekend.
“I'd like to think we'd sell everything, but I don't think we will.”
Dumontier added that it was disappointing to have been forced to cancel the Open Day event, but said he felt he had had no choice.
“I didn't want to jeopardize the entire weekend,” he said. “Imagine if someone with bad intentions was standing in front of a driver, or an open garage? Or imagine if the teams (on Thursday) had sufficient security concerns that they just closed their garage doors, and fans arrived to see nothing?
“The teams have told me they understand the decision to cancel, but they say it's a shame because they enjoyed it. I took no pleasure in cancelling it.”