Controversial Zandvoort ‘fun tax’ imposed ahead of Dutch Grand Prix

Sam Cooper
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen on track during the Dutch Grand Prix. Zandvoort, September 2022.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen on track during the Dutch Grand Prix. Zandvoort, September 2022.

Fans going to the Dutch Grand Prix next year will find it a little more expensive after a ‘fun tax’ was implemented.

The Dutch Grand Prix takes place in the city of Zandvoort on the coast of the country and a region that is governed by the Zandvoort City Council.

Well a decision made by that council this week has made the already expensive trip to a Formula 1 race that little bit more costly as fans will now have to pay €3 extra to cover the costs of the Grand Prix.

The council approved the implementation of the tax and said it was to cover the costs it incurs to manage the large flow of visitors such as closing roads, noise nuisance and waste.

Fans going this year will be spared the extra fee with it not being in place until 2024 but from that year onwards, the ‘fun tax’ will be charged to the promoter who will then pass on the cost to the event attendees.

The promoters of the Dutch Grand Prix have already voiced their displeasure at such a measure but did say they would accept it were it to be introduced.

Circuit director Robert van Overdijk argued that the event brings in more money than it takes out.

He said: “We do not agree because we think that we are bringing a lot of money with this event, and the municipality can live on that for years to come,” said circuit director Robert van Overdijk last month.

“We are not in charge of it and have no say in it, so if the tax is introduced, we will have to swallow it.”

It is not only F1 fans who will feel the pinch of a price boost with the tax being charged to any event that has more than 10,000 visitors. Zandvoort itself has a population of a little over 17,500. recommends

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Could the ‘fun tax’ cost Zandvoort its F1 future?

The Dutch Grand Prix has an existing deal with F1 to remain on the calendar until 2025 but at a time when there is more demand than ever to host a race, measures like this could hurt the city’s chances of keeping their spot.

Zandvoort was reintroduced as an F1 venue in 2021 as a response to the increased popularity of Dutch racer Max Verstappen but there are countries such as South Africa, South Korea and Colombia reportedly attempting to get onto the calendar.

Luckily for the promoters of the Dutch Grand Prix, tickets for this event are more reasonable than other venues but F1 will not look too fondly on a government-imposed tax being passed on to its fans.

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