Jugaad is the buzzword in the Capital these days, as everyone is scrambling for an F1 pass. The cheapest tickets (Rs 2,500) for the Indian Grand Prix, which flags off in Greater Noida on October 28, were sold out hours after the bookings opened, and the few that are left (priced between Rs 6,000 and Rs 35,000) have fans sighing and trying all the ‘jugaad’ they can.
“Who can afford such expensive passes! I’ve called every sports journalist I know and am trying to see who I know among the sponsors,” says Swati Tandon, 23, a freelance film director. “My elder sister is a journalist and I have told her that kuchh bhi karke she has to get me passes,” says Mohit Saini, 22, a mechanical engineer.
Sponsors, too, are flooded with such requests. “There’s still time for the races, but we’re already getting calls for passes. People even want preference seats (those nearest to the circuit) free!” says an employee with a telecom company that is partnering with Grand Prix. 30-year-old Rohit Kapoor (name changed on request) says his boss is hounding him for passes. “My brother knows a lot of politicians, so my boss thinks he can arrange passes. He’s pestering me,” he says.
Not everyone is opting for a free ride, though. Tickets worth Rs 11.5 crore have sold since the sale opened on August 20. “On the first day itself, we sold tickets worth Rs 1.5 crore within three hours. We were really surprised. In fact, most bookings are from Delhi and NCR, followed by Chennai and Mumbai,” says Ashish Hemrajani, CEO of bookmyshow.com.
Hotels near the venue are also booked out. “Our hotels are fairly booked to capacity during the F1. We also expect to welcome F1 teams to the hotels,” says Julian Ayers, GM of Double Tree by Hilton and Hilton New Delhi in Mayur Vihar, a corporate partner with F1 team McLaren Mercedes. “We are sold out on race days. Ours is one of hotels closest to the racetrack, so we’re expecting a great footfall and even some F1 teams,” says Suraj Jha, general manager, Radisson Blue Hotel, Greater Noida.
Race for tickets
Tickets for the practice races (October 28 and 29) and the final race on October 30 are available at bookmyshow.com for R2,500 (sold out), Rs 6,000, Rs 6,500, Rs 8,500, Rs 12,500, Rs 35,000
Race venue: Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida
The NCR has become the new hotspot for sporting events. Freestyle Moto XXX, an international bike stunts event, will be held in HUDA Grounds in Gurgaon on November 26, and will see some top international riders and stunt performers in action. More info on freestylemotoxxx.com
The 10-lakh table
The races will be followed by exclusive after-parties, being hosted by Grand Prix club Amber Lounge at Hotel Claridges in Surajkund. They’re also a lot in demand, but don’t come cheap: high priced tables:
Seat 8 guests and avail of exclusive staff service. You will be served unlimited drinks including champagne
* Table by the dance floor:
€15,000 (Rs 1,000,490)
* VIP table: €8,950 (R597,080) approx
* Classic table: €5,200 (R346,940). Sold out for race Sunday
Unrestricted VIP access and unlimited drinks
* Saturday: €650 (R43,370) per person per night
* Sunday: €800 (R53,380) per person per night
€ 250 (Rs 16,680) per person For bookings, write in at email@example.com.