11 races gone by and nearly $2b spent with the govt footing 60% of the bill, would the F1 race continue for another chapter? No doubt there are values generated from such high profile event to add some oomphs to this once labeled dull and lifeless city. With the changes in govt policies and the two casinos, cruise centres, Sentosa, the Zoo and Night Safari, would there be a need to continue to splurge a few billions for an event that, based on the latest race, losing its glitters? Attendance had fallen to a record low of 73,000 from its height of 219,000.
The bill of $150 million to organize such an event is real. The returns of $150 million incremental receipts is as good as extrapolation from a lot of intangible accounting. How much of the receipts would be translated to actual profits to offset the $150m of cost has yet to be added up. Assuming 30% was profit, that was only $45m, a far cry from the cost of $150m. A $150m receipt is NOT $150m profit!
The Singapore Race is now dubbed as the ‘crown jewel in F1’ by Ecclestone. Iswaran added that ‘there is a clear appreciation of the value that Singapore brings to F1, not just as a venue but in terms of the larger position of the sport and also as a business…’
Singapore has added value to the F1 event. There is no other place like Singapore to hold such a glamour event, safe, clean and efficient and convenient. Should not the F1 organiser be paying Singapore a fee instead of Singapore paying them a helfty $150 million? The big question should be who needs who more, who contributed more to the success of the event?
It is time Singapore appreciates its own value and not continue with the self deprecating thought and policy that we need them, like the foreign talent myth, that Singaporeans are daft, and trust that they need us more. Just hang up the phone and wait for them to call back. The worst case scenario is for Singapore to save $150 million that could be used for better things.
What do you think? Should Singapore continue to behave like the unthinking glory seeking adolescent, begging to be invited in, to be given a seat, and to pay whatever they asked, because papa got money to throw?
Grow up Singapore. You are not a third world little country that needs to pay for superficial glory, for a bit of noise on the streets. It is $150m a race to organize. It is public money that must be accounted for and carefully spent.