• European Grand Prix

Organisers look to offload European Grand Prix

ESPNF1 Staff
November 23, 2010 « Fittipaldi backs Schumacher to shine in 2011 | »
Spectators enjoy the 2010 European Grand Prix © Sutton Images

Organisers of the European Grand Prix at Valencia are desperately trying to offload the race contract to an alternate host, according to a report in Spanish newspaper El Periodico.

The newspaper claims regional president Francisco Camps has determined that the city cannot afford the annual fee and organisation costs. At the grand prix in June, he reportedly asked Bernie Ecclestone if Valencia's contract - with four years left to run - can be broken, to which the F1 chief executive "flatly refused".

The report said the organisers are spending €30 million on the race annually, including an €18 million fee to Ecclestone's group and the cost of building and de-constructing the street circuit. Only €10 million is covered by the sale of tickets and attendances have fallen from a high of 112,000 in 2008 to 75,00 this season.

Ecclestone reportedly told Camps that an alternative promoter and venue would have to be found, with the newspaper claiming negotiations with the circuit in Alcaniz as well as Portimao in Portugal have been held.

At the same time, it has been reported that Camps and Valencia mayoress Rita Barbera have held meetings with Ferrari about hosting the site of an Abu Dhabi-style theme park in the city.