British Grand Prix: Full capacity a growing possibility

The British government has unveiled its roadmap as far as the lockdown is concerned and what it means as far as sports facilities are concerned.

It seems growingly likely that spectators will be allowed to attend sporting events by the summer.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said to the parliament that “the turnstiles of our sports stadia will once again rotate”.

It has been reported that up to 10,000 fans or 25% of the venue’s capacity will be able to seat spectators starting 17 May.

By 21 June, this figure could increase and there is a belief that full capacity could be allowed at a number of sporting facilities if the ongoing vaccination programme works well and the number of coronavirus cases falls.

Managing director Stuart Pringle was cautious in his conversation with BBC 5 Live while admitting that there is reason for optimism.

“I’m cautiously optimistic, there is a long way to go,” Pringle said.

“But the requirements have been clearly set out. There are variables that are within nobody’s control, if another variant of concern were to arrive, or if there was a problem with the vaccination roll-out.

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“But equally, things have been going well, and I think that people want to get behind an opportunity that gives some light at the end of the tunnel.

“The government is right to point out this is the fourth step, and there are three [before], and things could go wrong at every stage.

“So it’s by no means certain. It’s very difficult as a promoter.”

Usually, around 340,000 tickets are sold across the three-day British grand Prix. this year, a number of tickets will be rolled over from last year since that event took place behind closed doors.

Vaccine passports might well be one way of keeping a check on the health of entrants into these events. Pringle said it was a good idea in principle, but had logistics to work around.

“Those of us who run sports stadia have been talking to the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport about potentially hooking in our electronic ticket apps to the NHS app,” Pringle said.

“It will help find a way of validating your entry ticket, if you have got the correct test result on your NHS app.

“I think it’s absolutely worth exploring, and I think fans would go for it.

“If it involves a little bit of effort, or possibly even a bit of cost, the chance to go and see your team, to see your favourite sport, that’s something that we’d all consider this summer.”

Silverstone will be the venue for the British Grand Prix, which will be held from July 16-18.

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