Azerbaijan GP promoters have confirmed that their event at the Baku City Street Circuit has provided a boost of over $500m to the local economy.
After joining the F1 calendar in 2016 as the European Grand Prix, it was renamed to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from 2017 and has become one of the series’ most entertaining races, though it does reportedly pay one of the highest hosting fees.
A contract is in place for the race until 2023, and figures compiled by global accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers reveal just how valuable it is to the local economy.
As reported by Motorsport.com, Baku put the event’s value at US$506.3m and say it “is a combination of the direct and indirect results of operational spending linked to the arrival of F1 in Baku for the past four race weekends, taking into account the spend across various sectors including the professional services, hotels and general accommodation, catering, transport, social and cultural services, agriculture, post and telecommunications, wholesale trade and electricity, gas and water amongst others”.
Direct spend on goods and services like hotels and restaurants was valued at $300.6m over the four years that the race has been held.
The other category, indirect spend, which is defined as “any additional revenue received by those companies and businesses that sell goods and services to other organizations that are, in turn, direct suppliers for the Formula 1 Grand Prix,” totaled $205.7m.
This category includes the construction, manufacturing, business and social services sectors.
The race created 5-10,000 medium-to-short term jobs in the first two years according to the Baku Circuit Circuit, and up to 7,500 over the past two seasons.
They also report that the event contributed to “intangible fields of national brand reputation and raising global awareness of Azerbaijan as a modern, dynamic country capable of staging world class sporting and entertainment events”.
Indeed, the Azerbaijan GP attracted 82.3m TV viewers in 2018, and 90.2m in 2019.
BCC executive director Arif Rahimov added: “We have always emphasised that F1 in Baku is more than just a showpiece event.
“But instead a spark for economic, social and cultural change that will create increased opportunities and benefits for everyone living and working here.
“As made clear in this report, the past few years have exceeded our wildest expectations in this regard.
“Now that we have agreed our new contract with F1, which guarantees racing in this city until 2023 at least, we look forward with increased confidence and optimism to many more years of success hosting the pinnacle of motorsport here in Baku.”