SINGAPORE: Singapore's government will pick up 60 per cent of the estimated cost of holding a Grand Prix race but will in return get immeasurable benefits, a cabinet minister was quoted as saying yesterday.
Officials announced earlier this month that the city-state would host its debut Formula One Grand Prix event on a street circuit in September or October 2008.
The Sunday Times reported that 60 per cent of the estimated US$99mil annual cost over five years would be borne by the government.
“The economics of the race is such that the cost of hosting an F1 race in any country far exceeds the revenue a private race promoter can expect to get from ticket sales, merchandising and sponsorship,” Minister of State for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran was quoted as saying.
If the government had not become involved, the race would have been staged elsewhere, he said.
Part of the government's funding will come from a special tax on hotel-room revenues for a few days around the race weekend, the report said.
Singapore GP Pte Ltd, a company controlled by hotel tycoon Ong Beng Seng, secured the hosting rights for a 4.8km street route proposed by designer Hermann Tilke. – AFP