Albert Park grandstands expanded due to strong Australian F1 ticket sales
By Mat Coch
Saturday 27th November, 2021 - 4:00pm
Demand for tickets to next year’s Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix have prompted organisers to add further grandstands for the April event.
Melbourne will host the third round of the 2022 season on April 7-10 in what will be F1’s first visit to Australia since 2020 – and the first track action since 2019.
“We’re finding so many people have been attracted to the sport because of the ferocious competition this year between Red Bull and Mercedes, or the attraction that is now being ignited as a result of Netflix,” Australian GP CEO Andrew Westacott told Speedcafe.com.
“We’ve been really, really pleased with the initial uptake of tickets, particularly grandstand tickets, and that’s leading the pack, closely followed by hospitality and then general admission – of course, we don’t have as much scarcity on general admission because of the huge venue.”
The Albert Park circuit is set to feature a full complement of grandstands, a far cry from the measures that were set to be put in place had this year’s race gone ahead.
“To give you some comparison, when we were talking this time last year, and earlier on [this year], we were producing smaller grandstands of 50 and 75 percent occupancy levels, spread out, reduced number of rows that were very, very controllable and manageable,” Westacott explained.
“Now we’re going back to the same build that we’ve had, from a configuration point of view, in previous years, but we’re making the capacity of those grandstands, as a result of the initial demand, we’ve got to make them bigger.
“I think probably indications are they’re 20 to 30 percent bigger than what we were having in 2019 and 2020,” he added.
“So the demand that we’ve seen already, just after about a week [of] pre-release and early release, has been such that our guys and our engineering team are looking to increase the grandstand capacity.”
The 2019 Australian Grand Prix attracted a crowd of 324,000, a 10 percent increase on the previous year and the highest attendance figure since 2005.
Next year’s event will also boast a number of innovations for fans, with the venue featuring five precincts highlighting an aspect of Victoria.
There is also a focus on live music, with two stages providing different offerings.
“One particular area of the music was going to be promoting emerging talent with new bands, new individuals, new artists,” Westacott said.
“Then there will be another category of the music that probably has more homegrown talents and household names.
“We are planning on every one of the attractions that we had plus more for 2022,” he added.
“So there will be a Melbourne walk; if you’re a purchaser of Formula 1 Paddock Club hospitality there will be pit lane walks.”
The 2022 F1 season kicks off in Bahrain before heading to Saudi Arabia and then touching down in Melbourne in April.