2013 marks the first year of the second 5-year F1 Night Racing Season. Singapore has emerged as one of the most popular events on the F1 calendar. Ticket sales of Formula 1 tickets have been brisk with 99% snapped up days ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.
While this spelt huge crowds in the Marina Bay Area, I was struck by how adversely the retail business had been affected by the F1 effects. The normally bustling shopping mall looked deserted with only a handful of passers-by.
Above: Just outside the Marina Bay circuit, the vicinity looked hollowed out.
Yes, the venue of the only night race, Singapore's street circuit is a unique and exciting challenge. However in the lead up to the event, the streets in the vicinity went into lockdown. Consequently, the retail business took a hit. This was despite the special offers to lure shoppers to the areas. The traffic snarls around the area were a big turnoff.
I understood that there had been ongoing consultations with local stakeholders which had cut the period of possible disruption to just six days. Key routes such as Esplanade Drive, Nicoll Highway and Stamford Road have remained usable.
With the end of the F1 racing, I hope that there will be spillover effects from the huge increase in tourist numbers to shop and dine in the wide range of shops and restaurants in the area.
When that happens, everyone wins and everyone is happy.