Sunday, October 18, 2009

hmmm... Sounds good. (2)-F1 racing Jeollanam

In Jeollanam Province, plans are underfoot for an F1 Grand Prix race track and events.
Here are some excerpts from the Joongang with my commentary.
...How does the South Jeolla provincial government plan to sell some 130,000 tickets?

A. ...We intend to sell up to 100,000 tickets to locals and around 30,000 to 40,000 to foreign tourists. The 2002 World Cup in Sangam, western Seoul, had crowds of up to 65,000. Given this past experience, we are not worried about ticket sales.
I am not an auto racing fan but I am sure there are many. Still, I don't think that the Seoul World Cup Stadium is a good example. To my knowledge, it is not chronically underused. I suspect there will be many people eager to attend the first car races, and even one or two -or even ten- races a year. I also have to wonder about more local stadiums. Why didn't they discuss the success -or lack- of Jeonju, Daejeon or Gwangju stadiums?

(Answer to a different question):
We will keep the hat-shaped circuit in the north running more than 200 days of the year by attracting other existing motor events such as A1 Grand Prix, F3 Grand Prix, Kart racing and drag racing.
I suspect they can find people to use the track 200+ days a year, but would be surprised (pleasantly, I really would like it to succeed) if it were profitably used 200 days a year.

(Regarding the distance from Seoul and Incheon Airport)
Both locals and foreigners take four- to five-hour road trips to get to Silverstone in England and Magny-Cours in France for Grand Prix events. The distance seems like a big deal for us Koreans, but it isn’t. We intend to focus on the “fun” part of going back and forth between Yeongam and other tourist attractions across Korea. We are in the middle of developing tourism products such as temple stay programs and cruises along Yeongam’s coast, which is surrounded by dozens of islets.
I can see four and five hour road trips for 'events', but there are unlikely to be "200" events a year. Still, this response has the most encouraging news. The organizers do seem to be looking at tourism in Jeollanam as a whole, rather than considering the F1 racing in a vacuum.

I do want the enterprise to succeed but we've already seen the World Cup Stadiums, empty since 2002, and various airports, empty since they opened.

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