Formula 1: Singapore Grand Prix sees record crowd of 302,000 after 2-year hiatus

Fans watching Westlife at The Padang on Oct 1, 2022. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - The Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2022 has set a new record in attendance with 302,000 fans attending the three-day event, promoters Singapore GP said on Sunday.

The previous high was 300,000 for the first night race in 2008.

The last edition, held in 2019, drew 268,000 supporters to the Marina Bay Street Circuit. The 2020 and 2021 races were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Transport Minister S. Iswaran said: “It’s a reflection of the keen interest in our race, its uniqueness and the various elements that we wrap around the race. It’s a very good sign of how things are recovering in Singapore... We have also seen as a result of this (record attendance) a cascading effect for the broader economy."

He added: "The hotel occupancy rates are very strong. And also the average room rates, according to STR (hospitality provider of market insights) data, exceeded the historical high of $440 per night for previous F1 periods."

He highlighted how there were at least 25 Mice (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) events, with the arrival of nearly 90,000 delegates here coinciding with the timing of the race. The Mice industry in 2019 had supported more than 34,000 jobs with an economic value-add of $3.8 billion.

"In summary, we've had a very strong Formula 1 event this year, the response from the world has been very strong, and you could say Singapore is back on track."

The night race has generated more than $1.5 billion in incremental tourism receipts since it began, and offers employment to some 30,000 people at the circuit each race weekend.

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Singapore GP in January had announced a new seven-year deal to continue hosting a F1 race here.

It was the longest renewal with the Formula One Group – the previous ones were between four and five years – and the longer runway was intended to help reposition Singapore as a business and lifestyle destination and ensure the country maintains its competitive edge in the long term.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry and STB fund 60 per cent of the $135 million night race costs each year, with Singapore GP footing the rest.

Deputy chairman of Singapore GP Colin Syn said: "The return of Formula One was highly anticipated, with tickets snapped up within hours of the launch earlier this year.

"From the time we announced our contract renewal at the end of January, we have had several months of intense planning to put together a mega show to signal our return in a big way.

"In addition to the race action, we have curated an exciting range of entertainment, interactive and gastronomic experiences for the fan zones, as well as introduced new grandstands and hospitality facilities."

Besides the race, the entertainment line-up included American band Green Day, Irish boy band Westlife and American electronic dance music star Marshmello at the Padang. There are more than 75 performances that will take place across eight stages at the Circuit Park in Marina Bay.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, addressing the thousands of fans gathered in the Pit Grandstand after he took pole in Saturday’s qualifying, said: “An amazing crowd, and it’s great to see so many people attending the event.”

Top five attendances for Singapore night race

2022 - 302,000
2008 - 300,000
2019 - 268,000
2018 - 263,000
2013 - 262,527    

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