Sales & Marketing

British Grand Prix organisers apologise for ticketing issues

Organisers of the British Grand Prix have apologised following the fiasco which saw fans waiting for hours to secure tickets. 

However, Silverstone’s managing director Stuart Pringle said that while there will be a review into what happened, organisers would not be moving away from the dynamic pricing system that angered most fans.

Some fans were left frustrated when purchasing tickets due to the overwhelming demand for the Formula 1 race, and the change in price from the beginning of the transaction and the end.

One fan told the Guardian that he was trying to buy tickets worth £419 ($453/€470) but by the time he reached check-out after eight hours in the queue, the price had risen to £489.

Another fan emailed TheTicketingBusiness.com to say that his tickets had gone up almost £300 each while in the queue. According to the fan, they faced a six-and-a-half-hour wait and also said that a three-day general ticket had increased by £200.

Pringle told the Guardian: “I am extremely sorry for the frustration, upset, disappointment and anger this has caused. We are going to do a root and branch review on all of this.

“I am not closing the door on doing anything differently next year, we will consider anything and everything. Nothing is off the table. We have learned a lot of lessons and we can’t have a repeat of this year.”

Sales were handled by Secutix, with the system suffering from a payment gateway issue as the race experienced extreme demand.

Dynamic pricing was used for the first time at a British sporting event, but Pringle said that the system is not too dissimilar to past sales. Earlybird prices have always been available before going up, but this time the demand pushed prices up much faster.

Pringle added: “Not long ago the issue was whether we could stay in business. To reach a point where we are suddenly into Adele, Coldplay-scale of demand is just unimaginable.

“In light of what we know now, can we use our historic model given the current popularity of F1? We have to look at that. It’s wonderful we have had such a demand but it is utterly regrettable that our fans have been subject to these challenges. We have to sort it out and we will sort it out.”