Danish businessman looks for backing for Copenhagen F1 project

Danish businessman looks for backing for Copenhagen F1 project
Formula One boss Chase Carey (L), pictured here with businesses minister Brian Mikkelsen, visited Copenhagen on 10th January 2018 to discuss a potential grand prix in the Danish capital. Photo: Liselo
Lars Seier Christensen, the Danish millionaire behind a project to bring a Formula One race to the streets of Copenhagen, says that 300 million kroner (40.3 million euros) is the minimum investment required.

Christensen and former MP Helge Sander, the joint leaders of the bid, remain enthusiastic about its chances of success.

But former director of Saxo Bank Christensen, whose fortune was reported last year to total 2.8 billion kroner (376 million euros), said that costs could reach as far as 500 million kroner (67.1 million euros).

Efforts to bring in investors and sponsors must, though, do more than raise the amount to get the deal with Formula One off the ground, since costs are repeated year-on-year.

“Formula One needs license payments every year. That goes without saying. But there are also many other costs, like logistics, which become smaller in subsequent years, when costs have been covered in the first year,” Christensen said.

“That will not make it free, but I imagine that the level of costs will fall moderately after the first and second years,” he said.

Newspaper Ekstra Bladet has reported an expected 20 percent decrease in the cost of arranging the event after the first year.

But overall running costs are expected to remain above 100 million kroner even after the initial expenses of establishing the event.

A potential deal with Formula One could have an initial duration of three years from 2020, Christensen said.

As such, the millionaire said he hoped to attract sponsors and investors to commit themselves to the project for an extended period.

“If we commit to a three-year deal with Formula One, we will owe money for three years. So the commitments we are working on must be a little long-term,” he said.

Money raised from spectator ticket sales would offset costs considerably, he added.

Formula One chief executive Chase Carey said that the sport’s organisers also hoped for a long-term agreement.

“Our goal is to have long-term collaborations that benefit both parties,” Carey said.

No deadline currently exists for an agreement to be reached over the potential Copenhagen Grand Prix, according to Carey.

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