F1 full of promises this year but can it pack a crowd and is it worth our tax dollars?

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singapore-f1-night-race-streetcircuit
singapore-f1-night-race-streetcircuit

With four world champions in the grid, this year’s Formula 1 promises to be a blazing event. Promising bigger, fatter and faster tyres, the organisers of the world’s premier sporting event seem to have run out of ideas to put the shine back on their fast cars.

F1 events have seen falling viewership in recent years – from its peak of 600M viewers in 2008, the number of global television viewers have dwindled to less than 400M in 2016. Singapore’s event only attracts 80M television viewers worldwide.

It costs a whopping $150M to host the event in Singapore and almost 60% of the event cost is subsidised by the Government. It is estimated that the incremental tourism receipts amounts to about $150M.

In a Facebook survey conducted by Straits Times in 2016 on whether Singapore should continue hosting the F1 event in Singapore, 1400 respondents voted “No” and only 305 voted “Yes.”

Former top civil servant, Ngiam Tong Dow said, “My favourite topic — I’m on public record — is Formula 1. We’re paying the Englishmen to stage the F1 night race here. Why should we use taxpayers’ money to pay for these races? I have asked this question publicly, but the MOF has never addressed it.”

F1 race in Singapore is seen as an uppity event for the snobs and well healed to hang out at the Cricket and Recreation Club, where a table on race night can cost thousands of dollars.  The exorbitant ticket prices is out of reach for the average Singaporean.

We found out that some Singaporeans go across the causeway to catch the F1 race in Malaysia. And time is running out for these F1 ticket hackers as Malaysia has announced that it will host F1 for the last time in 2018. Well, that leaves you with just one chance to catch it while it is within your reach.

A quick check at the Savings platform CupoNation revealed that Malaysia has the cheapest tickets worldwide.

Attending a F1 race in the Southeast Asia region is generally cheaper by 22% than in Europe and 43% than in the Americas. Malaysia is by far the cheapest destination at a global level with a price of S $33.14 for a 3-day general admission. China and Hungary are the next cheapest options, with S $63.95 and S $146.82 respectively.

Malaysia is this year’s destination for savvy Singaporeans

In November 2016, Malaysia announced that it is not going to renew the contract for hosting the F1 races from 2018 onwards. With the final flag waving for our neighbouring country late September (the race in Malaysia is on the 1st of October) and given the low cost of the ticket to attend the F1 race there – it is actually 8 times less expensive than in Singapore – Malaysia is the place to be for this year’s Formula 1 races.

The question still remain if Singapore should continue hosting or would it be better to throw in the towel on this one? Or should we just hop across the causeway to catch F1?

What do you think? Leave your comments below.

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