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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

malaysians can sit on the grass


if i remember correctly, sepang has been hosting the malaysian f1 gp for seven years now. yet seven years later, average malaysians still find it difficult to afford the tickets to enjoy the sport.

actually, i believe these malaysians are capable of buying the tickets if they wanted to. the problem is the average malaysian will feel the financial pinch too painful to take. other than that, spending rm1000 for an afternoon just doesn't seem to make any sense.

the organizer is fucking brilliant as well. to try and get more people to attend the qualifying, they've combined most of the tickets to a 2-day and 3-day packages. people are thus forced to pay extra for something they don't even want. if you want a one-day ticket, the best will cost you rm500. ouch, isn't that just bloody expensive?

let's do a comparison:
when i went to the indianapolis f1 gp, i bought a one-day ticket at the first corner of the circuit for us$75 - which is only rm278. as for sepang, there isn't a one-day ticket for the first corner. instead, you'd need to pay rm700 for a two-day ticket (rm350 per day) at the first corner. for better seats at the first corner, it'll cost you rm1000 for a three-day ticket (rm333 per day). oh right, parking is rm50.

you do the math, and tell me whether any of the combination is worthed it or not.

let's not forget about the transportation fee to go to the circuit. if you drive, it'll be 90min worthed of petrol (which is now 30 cents more) plus toll money. for a 2-day ticket, you times two. for 3-day, you times three.

if you think taking the public transportation is the best option, then you'd be half right. the erl ain't cheap, it is just slightly cheaper than the normal rate. plus it isn't direct to the circuit, you'd need to transit through coaches. if you don't mind waiting long hours and then needing to shove onto the bus, then be my guest and go ahead with the coaches.

with all the above constraints in mind, no wonder so many malaysians are turned off by it. unless you get free tickets, nobody will really bother to go. the result of that is low interest from the public; thus low attendance (which means less money for the organizer to make).

although this year sepang is giving a price slash for the hill tickets to only rm50 as well as further discount for student, i don't see that as a complete solution. the message they appear to be conveying is that, "malaysians are poor and they only can afford rm50 tickets. plus, they can just sit on the grass and burn to death for all we care."

what the organizer needs is to do is give reasonable ticket price for the malaysians. i am talking about providing more 1-day tickets for those high-end tickets. for example, rm280 for a one-day ticket at the first corner is very reasonable, or rm500 for a one-day grandstand ticket is still affordable.

it's time to allow the common people a chance to truly enjoy f1, not put them on grass and under hot sun. if they liked their first experience, they'll be back year after year. if you give them cheap tickets but a bad experience, then you are basically business suiciding. you'll be back to square one.

seven years is a long time. to the organizer, heed my advice, you won't regret it.