Shanghai, Feb. 2, (Xinhuanet) -- Organizers of Shanghai's upcoming Formula One race announced ticket prices over the weekend.
Watching michael Schumacher and his friends cruise around the local track will cost slightly less than anywhere else on the circuit this year, according to organizers of the event.
Prices range from 160 yuan (US$19) to watch practice on Friday (September 24) or qualifying the next day to 3,700 yuan for top seats overlooking the finish line for three days.
Seats for the race alone range from 330 yuan for spot on the grass along the outside corner of the track to 2,200 yuan for prime seats under an enclosure.
"Our tickets are relatively cheaper than the other 17 events on the F1 tour around the world," said Mao Xiaohan, general manager of Shanghai International Circuit Co Ltd.
Tickets for the Malaysian Grand Prix in Kuala Lumpur in March, by comparison, run from US$50 to US$467.
Organizers have decided to sell tickets for only 150,000 of the local circuit's 200,000 seats due to concerns about safety and transportation to the circuit, which is located in the city's northwestern suburbs.
Tickets go on sale early next month on the Internet or through various ticketing agencies in the city and around the world, according to organizers.
Mao predicts 20 to 30 percent of the passes will be bought up by racing fans and tourists from outside the country.
"We received inquiry calls from some Japanese corporate customers as early as September," said Zhou Qicheng, a sales manager with Shanghai Airlines Tours International Co Ltd.
The local organizers have already launched a bilingual hot line (9682-6999) for customers from home and abroad looking for information about Chinese mainland's first ever Formula One race.
The scheme made public over the weekend didn't include VIP tickets, usually valued at above US$3,000, which are directly managed by the London-based Formula One Management, who holds the commercial rights for the F1 Championship series.
With formula One Management taking most of the advertising revenues and overseas television rights, ticket sales stand as one of the major income sources for the local organizers.
The circuit is located in Jiading, a northwest suburban district more than 30 kilometers from downtown.
"The transportation problem is still under discussion," said Mao. "We're considering installing several interim bus lines, and even an extension of the metro system in the future." Enditem