Silverstone F1 ticket pricing backlash

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Despite offering around 15,000 tickets at a discounted price for the 2015 British GP, the new Silverstone management has been suffering a backlash from fans who bought their tickets at an ‘early bird discount’ during the 2014 race weekend.

Silverstone’s facebook page has been the place where many F1 fans have chosen to vent their anger.

Michele Case: Dear me Silverstone, you really do have no idea about customer service or retaining loyal, repeat visitors to the circuit. We are Motorsport fans and we are there to watch the sport we love. We don’t care what price we paid for our tickets almost twelve months ago, and we don’t care that we’ve paid extra to watch a madness concert.

We knew what we were paying when we bought the tickets. What we do care about is the sense of unfairness surrounding the whole fiasco that encompasses ticket sales this year. A lot of people spent a lot of money buying tickets early, trusting they were getting the best deal they could get. It now appears that this is not the case and I for one feel misled.

I can only speak for myself when I say with a heavy heart that after 2015 I can’t imagine myself ever going to Silverstone again – there are plenty of other ways I can be ripped off elsewhere. It may not concern you that you’ve lost my custom, but it should concern you that your customer base no longer trust you.

Kiye Mackie May I take this opportunity to say that this year’s ticket policy for British F1 Grand Prix is disgraceful! Selling tickets at “early bird rates” only to offer same tickets £120 cheaper 3 weeks before the Grand Prix!

Aj Crisp Struggling to get excited after the ticket fiasco! Despite paying full price grandstand tickets yet still no pit walk!

Fred Burley £25 for park and ride now so the little saving on ticket is eaten up by park and ride price where’s the saving?

Silverstone are expecting 140,000 this year, and increase on the repeated sell-out crowd numbers of 125,000 for race day as reported in recent years.

Due to the remote nature of the Silverstone circuit and relatively poor public transport infrastructure, the management of the Northamptonshire circuit have in previous years placed a self-imposed limit of 125,000 race day attendees.

The incremental 15,000 fans attending the race this year will all be General admission ticket holders, so it will be interesting to see the comments of regular race goers as to how this affects vantage points when compared to previous years.

Clearly Silverstone have infuriated those who paid more for tickets having bought them well in advance – than those who have jumped in at the last minute.

Patrick Allen has responded to the criticism.

I understand that not all of our customers are happy about the recent ticket promotions which have resulted in some of the remaining grandstand seats being sold at significantly lower prices than the prime seating offered just after the 2014 event. Everyone at Silverstone values our customers and I really appreciate the loyalty that has been shown to the circuit over the years.

However it was important to address the trend of ever increasing ticket prices that was preventing the vast majority of loyal fans and their families from attending the event.

In order to determine the best value for our customers it has been necessary to trial several price points across different ticket categories to arrive at a sensible ticket model for 2016.

As we approach our 2015 event which will see a record crowd here at Silverstone our 2016 pricing is ready to be launched. The new model, resulting from our trial price points, will see tickets for the 2016 event at their lowest for many years. Additionally it is my intention to deploy an incremental pricing policy not dissimilar to the budget airline model (which I am sure everyone is familiar with) where the earlier you buy your ticket the better deal you get with the price increasing incrementally towards race day.

I can assure fans that there will be no repeat of this year’s experiment and that immediately after the 2015 race will be the best time to buy the cheapest tickets for a limited period before subsequent price increases.

All of that said I know there will be some fans out there that will understandably feel let down having bought their tickets early and in good faith that the ticket price they paid should have been the best value. Albeit you have secured the seat you wanted in the location of your choice.

We are going to put on the best show ever for all fans in what will be a record breaking event and hope that no matter what ticket price was paid it will be seen as great value for money. Next year everyone will have the opportunity for even greater value for money as we introduce our new pricing and ticketing strategy that promotes “the earlier you buy the more you save”.

I look forward to seeing you all at Silverstone and joining me in cheering Lewis on to a home Grand Prix victory”.

Whatever, the rights and wrongs of the way Silverstone have behaved, it is good to see an F1 race promoter bringing ticket prices for fans down. It could be something the Circuit de Catalunya could learn from which would see their half empty grandstands rather better populated.

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17 responses to “Silverstone F1 ticket pricing backlash

  1. How the hell is Silverstone getting such a big crowd? This years F1 races thus far have proven to be some of the most boring since the early 2000s Ferrari domination – but at least then they actually had to work for an overtake and the cars were pushed hard and sounded brilliant back then…

    I used to spend a few thousand a year watching F1 races (European) but if I were to watch a motorsport event abroad now, it’d be LeMans or MotoGP, whilst domestically BTCC wins for both excitement and access.

    As it stands I can’t see myself attending an F1 race Silverstone unless there is a pretty drastic re-think on the rules and increased competitiveness. That plus Silverstone is, well, pretty dull really.

    • I’ll tell you why they’re getting such a big crowd….. #44…😉😉

      • It’s true, viewer numbers peaked when Mansell, Hill, Hamilton were winning WDCs.. Button in the mid-00s slumped as Schumi domination became too much, that or the ITV coverage..

      • …no bollox….its just the Marketing Teams and Business Analysts and Strategists talkin sh!t to keep selling tickets. They do it more and more nowadays in every sport. When ticket sales are down they tell you they are selling like hot cakes. The fact that some people bought their tickets last year and are now seeing the same tickets going for less money is a huge slap in the face. Add to that fact there might be an extra 15,000 fans packing every vantage point this year, the early buyers have a right to be a bit pd off. As usual since 2000, I will be watching on the box. #:)

  2. “I look forward to seeing you all at Silverstone and joining me in cheering Lewis on to a home Grand Prix victory”.

    Mr Allen, the days of Mansell-mania have long gone. For every rabid Lewis fan there is another who doesn’t really care for him much, he’s a bit of a Thatcher type who you either love or hate.

    A few years ago I was given a Silverstone cap which just happened to be red. Watching the footage after getting home Lewis used the fact that the grandstands were full of red caps to illustrate just how many fans he had there. Not true, in fact quite insulting to anyone wearing a red cap that was not McLaren/Santander.

    I’ll admit I don’t like him much, never have done, and as an Englishman I’d rather anyone won the race/title more than him. Mr Allen would do well to recognise this.

    • Your didn’t have to admit it, I think it was quite evident long before your final paragraph.

        • Brown is not my colour, I’m more into pink. But hey, if that’s to your liking, then keep waving your flag……

    • “…For every rabid Lewis fan there is another who doesn’t really care for him much…”

      And you know that because ?
      Gobsh**e keyboard warriors on forums don’t count.

      • The GPDA survey for example.

        “A total of 217,756 people took part across 194 countries, with the UK, France and the United States the top three respondent countries. ”

        “After Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were the next two most popular drivers”

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/33351824

    • I’d rather cheer for norovirus than Hamilton. Of the band of folks I used to travel to GPs with all 5 of us liked Kimi, none of us liked Lewis.

  3. I admit that this is the first thing that crossed my mind when it was first announced that they were suddenly offering cut price tickets for this year’s race. Not good PR considering they always sell out.. Maybe just implement it for 2016 and announce at launch post-2015 event?

    That would have been a huge PR boost.. but I can understand them wanting to get some evidence for the scheme in advance. Maybe some of this extra profit can keep Silverstone afloat/improve the access further?

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