F1 ticket sales increase 19 percent

Formula One ticket sales are up 19 per cent compared to the same time last year – indicating a rising interest in the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) said yesterday.

BIC general manager Martin Whitaker said that as of Saturday night 16,500 tickets had been sold, which was a significant improvement over last year.

"And we expect sales to spike up sharply, as they generally do in the last three weeks before the race," he said.

"This shows that the interest in the race is growing and that our marketing efforts have been successful."

He was speaking at a meeting with businessmen at the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Manama.

The event was held to explore how the private sector can benefit from the race being hosted in Bahrain.

The event, from April 13 to 15, is expected to attract thousands of visitors and contribute $400 million (BD151.2m) to the local economy.

BIC marketing and public relations manager Samer Al Shaikh said the circuit was offering retail outlets Formula One T-shirts, caps and other merchandise at a nominal price in the run-up to the race.

"We are not making any profit on these items, but we don't want to give it to them for free because we want it to have value," he said.

"The idea is for the staff of these outlets to wear it so that visitors and locals will feel a part of the F1 event no matter where they go.

"This is one way that we hope to get retailers involved."

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