Hong Kong's first Formula E race will see reasonably priced tickets, organisers pledge
Officials want to see a fun-filled event – which will kick off the 2016-17 series – along Central harbourfront streets in October
At least half of the 10,000 tickets for the inaugural Formula E race in Hong Kong will be offered at affordable prices, organisers said on Friday.
The Hong Kong event, to be staged along harbourfront streets of Central on October 8-9, will kick off the 2016-17 season of the series, which prides itself on clean energy and sustainability.
Despite facing a staggering HK$300 million budget for the two-day event, organisers said they would not be expecting any profit from the gate receipts.
“We have yet to decide the ticket prices, but our principle is to ensure more people can enjoy the motor racing,” said Lawrence Yu Kam-kee, president of the Hong Kong Automobile Association.
“The price tag for putting up an international event like this is very high, but since the event will be underwritten by the International Automobile Association, we don’t have to worry too much about going into the red.
“Even if we charge HK$10,000 for each ticket, we cannot cover the cost, but I don’t think people will spend that amount of money just to watch one race.”
A temporary grandstand will be erected to accommodate 10,000 spectators and there will also be smaller stands along the 2.2km course.
“Our circuit will be very similar to the Monte Carlo motor racing circuit and we want Hong Kong citizens to give it a proper name, so that they can feel like it is their own,” said Yu. “Many motor racing circuits have a name. The one in Macau is called the Guia circuit. We also want one for Hong Kong.”
Apart from the main race, which will see cars reaching a top speed of 225km/h through the 10-bend circuit, there will also be two supporting races – the first of its kind in the Formula E series.
“We want to make the Hong Kong leg more interesting and fun-filled and therefore we will host two additional races – one for local drivers and one for celebrities,” said Yu.
The government, meanwhile, has been urged to build a “motor city” with maintenance services and a designated road for testing. “We have approached the government with the idea and the response has been positive,” he said. “But it will take a lot more time and discussion before it happens.”