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Goodwood: The prestigious circuit reaching out to motorsport’s poorest fans

by / 1 Comment / 11/01/2017

In light of Silverstone’s predicament over whether to cease hosting the British Grand Prix after 2019, we look at another old circuit that is trying to encourage the present generation of young fans to come to tomorrow’s races.

 

The Goodwood Motor Circuit is one of Britain’s most famous racing circuits. Its fast 2.4 mile layout proved a challenge for the world’s greatest drivers in the first fourteen years of its existence, from 1948 until it closed in 1966.

It was reopened to racing in September 1998 to great aplomb under an event known as The Goodwood Revival where today’s drivers race the speed machines of Goodwood’s golden age.

The popularity of this event led to the reintroduction of the Members Meeting, a season-opening club event for BARC Members. In January, two months before the March event, Goodwood releases a few hundred tickets for the general public to purchase. This year however, a special effort has been made to encourage young people to attend by creating a special ‘Young Person’ rate.

This rate is not your ordinary student discount however, it is far more significant. For example, one weekend General Admission ticket will set back a fan over the age of 21 £134. For a person between the ages of 13 and 21 however, it is just £33.50. A discount of 75 per cent and a price that includes two days of competitive and exciting racing at one of the world’s most prestigious racing circuits. The 75 per cent discount applies also to the single day ticket prices, with adults being charged £84 compared to £21 for young persons.

Goodwood then, is the first circuit in the United Kingdom to provide a competitive and affordable young person rate. This is something that can’t come soon enough in the modern world of motor racing.

Motorsport has and always will be expensive. In the twenty-first century it is not just increasing in cost for the teams and circuits but for the fans as well. A weekend ticket for the British Grand Prix costs £165; five times more than Goodwood. The single day tickets too are exceedingly extortionate, setting back the average fan £70 for a Saturday ticket and £145 for Sunday’s racing.

Silverstone is charging five times more for an event that is far from five times the event Goodwood is putting on. The prices of Silverstone’s Grand Prix too are far beyond the budget of the average student motorsport fan — who over the past thirty years has slowly been priced out of major motorsport events. It is rare to find a major motorsport venue promoting heavily discounted tickets in this modern age.

This is what makes Goodwood’s pricing strategy particularly important in this financially unstable climate. To have the courage to significantly reduce the price of its tickets in order to encourage young people to venture to its circuit, is a refreshing sign that those involved in the organisation of motorsport events have not forgotten about the people who ultimately support the sport, the fans.

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I am currently an Undergraduate student studying War Studies and History at Kings College London. I report on both politics and motor-racing.

1 Comment

  1. Whilst generally agreeing with much of your article Christopher, you fail to recognise that Silverstone has to PAY Bernie’s Circus to host the British GP in an escalating fixed deal. 30 years ago, Silverstone circuit made a profit from hosting the BGP and used to plough that back into supporting other racing at the circuit but has been making a loss on that event for probably the last 10 years. I was a motorsport marshal with the BRDC for a good few of those middle years so I have the benefit of a little “inside information”.

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