South Korea’s F1 race organizer expressed confidence that this year’s Korean Grand Prix will be an improvement from the previous event and that it will make a lasting impact on the development of motor sports in Korea.
Korea staged its inaugural race in 2010 at the newly built race circuit in Yeongam, South Jeolla Province, and its third race is scheduled for Oct. 12-14 this year.
“We didn’t know what F1 was exactly when we first held the event and had many problems. Last year, we undertook a major overhaul of our organization, so there were some difficulties in preparations,” South Jeolla Province Gov. Park Joon-yung admitted during the launching ceremony for ticket distribution on Wednesday at the InterContinental Hotel in Seoul.
South Jeolla Province Gov. Park Joon-yung (third from right) and Korea Tourism Organization president Lee Charm (third from left) pose for photo at a launching ceremony of Korea’s F1 ticket distribution at the InterContinental Hotel in Seoul on Wednesday. (Chung Hee-cho/The Korea Herald)
However, Park, who is also the head of the F1 Korean Grand Prix Organizing Committee, added, “We believe this year’s race will be much improved from the last one.”
According to the local organizer, one of the biggest changes from last year’s race is the reduced ticket prices.
The average ticket price is now down to 320,000 won ($280) from 350,000 won ($307), and a three-day package for the main grandstand is priced at 890,000 won.
The local organizer has also changed the ticket types, offering just three types, to attract more visitors.
The tickets for practice day on Oct. 12 are priced from 10,000 won to 20,000 won, and tickets for qualifying day on Oct. 13 are available from 80,000 won to 340,000 won depending on the location of the stand.
The grand stand tickets for the Oct.14 race start at 120,000 won, while the most expensive main grand stand ticket is priced at 720,000 won.
There are also discounts for early birds, offering up to 50 percent savings on regular-priced tickets, according to the local organizing committee. Fans who purchase tickets through Friday will get a 50 percent discount, for example.
“We’re also offering a 50 percent discount for people under 15, as we hope to see more young people follow the F1 race,” Park added.
So far, it appears that the Korean F1 GP will proceed more smoothly this year than in the past.
The South Jeolla Provincial Government, which has been under fire over the mounting deficit since its first race, announced earlier this month that it had reached a major deal with the sport’s governing body to cut down on costs this year.
Last year, the local organizer paid Formula One Management, F1’s commercial rights holder, nearly $40 million to stage the F1 race. But this year the FOM has agreed to cut its fees by more than 23 billion won ($20.5 million).
However, the local organizer said the F1 race is still in its early stage in Korea.
“We are still at this early stage, but we’re working to establish a motor sports base around the Yeongam circuit. We believe the F1 race will be a cornerstone of the development of our motor sports industry,” Park added.
Tickets for this year’s Korean F1 Grand Prix are now on sale at the official website, www.koreangp.kr, and also at the online auction site www.ticket.auction.co.kr.
By Oh Kyu-wook (firstname.lastname@example.org