the incubus wrote:
Why should the government contribute towards it?
Anyway, doesn't Bernie actually part own the track? If so, what's stopping him lowering the hosting fee to help out?
Oh, I don't think governments should spend a dime on putting on entertainment events of any sort. I was just hopeful to have Turkey back on the calendar. How they get it done is none of my business, but I would like to have it back. It's a great track that's fast and challenging and hat turn 8… wow!
A government might believe the benefit to the local economy would far outweigh the initial expenditure. Although that's the justification my government used to spend many billions on that olympic bullshit, and the sort of businesses it was meant to boost reported a drop
in revenue. Also hard to make that case in Turkey when hardly anyone goes to the race.
Still, the theory is sound. Sort of. What irritates me is that a race like Silverstone clearly creates more money for the country than it costs to host, but the government would lose it before paying for it on the grounds that F1 is a rich sport so they shouldn't have to pay for it with public money. But the people they'd be directly helping (the promoters and owners who currently make a loss) aren't fabulously wealthy just because Bernie is. And the people it helps indirectly (hoteliers, restaurants etc.) are just normal people. We pay for or subsidise virtually all sports in this country, one way or another. But because motorsport is deemed a rich mans game the public wouldn't stand for it, so the politicians stay clear.
I think the problem is that originally it might have made sense for a Govt to subside a Grand Prix on the excuse that it would benefit the local economy...
...but Bernie has escalated the fee to the stage that at best the benefit gained would only be equivalent to the fee paid by any Govt - and of course the Govt isn't seeing any direct benefit from that itself. It just has to write down that cost and hope it recoups some of it through any increased tax revenues it might see (which are hard to distinguish and specific as being due to the F1 race)
I essentially agree with what you and Incubus are saying, certainly that the hosting fee is the problem. And that the indirectness of the economic benefits make them harder to identify.
But Silverstone's deal isn't as stupid as some, I think figures bandied about were 17 million with a pretty hefty rise each year. It creates at least that much in indirect revenue with over 100 thousand people eating out, staying in hotels, filling their cars with petrol to get there etc., then there's the tax on the ridicuoulsy expensive (thanks to Bernie, not the BRDC) tickets, the extra (albeit temporary) employment (just read they take on 5,600 extra staff for GP week, equivolent to over 100 full time permanent jobs) and arguably the biggest value of all: investment in an important sector. Motorsport employs anything upwards of 40,000 people in the UK and rakes in massive tax revenue, revenue the government has done little to stimulate or protect. Without a British GP the next generation of innovators and employers may not have the spark that enthused their predecessors.
In short I can see why they haven't subsidised a GP. The fact we have one anyway demonstrates they didn't need to, and the general public are unable or unwilling to disassociate megarich Bernie from the hotdog vendors and hoteliers the subsidy would actually be helping. But in principle, a government funding a GP could make sense if it was popular. This is exactly what governments should be spending money on: projects whose benefits are so complicated and spread so thin across so many sctors, that only a government would have the understanding and 'personal' interest to take them on.