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Thread: S'pore F1 on the starting grid

  1. #1
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    Default S'pore F1 on the starting grid

    Thursday, May 10, 2007

    A corporate step closer to F1 in S'pore

    Cubby Leong

    [email protected]


    PROPERTY tycoon Ong Beng Seng's dream to see Ferrari and McLaren cars roaring past the Padang is close to becoming a reality.

    Last Thursday, a company called Singapore GP Pte Ltd was registered with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra). The new company's registered address is the HPL House at Cuscaden Road.

    With Mr Ong being the managing director of HPL — and the key player in efforts to bring a Formula 1 Grand Prix race to Singapore — the company's registration is seen as a signal that the much-waited announcement on the high-profile event is imminent.

    According to Acra, Mr Ong is one of three directors of Singapore GP, which describes its business as "event promotion". The company is reported to have an issued capital of 20 million shares at $1 each.

    The other two directors are Mr Teo Hock Seng and Mr Colin Syn.

    Mr Teo, who is the managing director of Komoco Motors, is also chairman of S-League powerhouse Tampines Rovers. Mr Syn is president of Hard Rock Café.

    The sports fraternity has welcomed the creation of Mr Ong's new company.

    Mr Teo Ser Luck, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, is encouraged that businessmen are now finding sport a worthy investment.

    He said: "There are many successful businessmen locally and, hopefully, this will encourage more people like Ong to step forward to help elevate Singapore sport in a big way."

    Singapore Sports Council's chief executive officer Ooi Jin Teik added: "Mr Ong is a shrewd and visionary businessman. He obviously understands the sports business model and its return on investment potential."

    Mr Ong has been in negotiations with Formula One Management since January to bring a Formula 1 race to Singapore. With this latest development, some sources have suggested that an announcement could come as early as this Sunday, at the Spanish GP at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

    The Singapore race is scheduled to be a Monaco-styled street circuit, possibly the first to ever be held at night. A 4.8-km route, which will showcase the Marina and Esplanade area, has already been designed by renowned German architect Hermann Tilke.

  2. #2
    Singapore GP Pte Ltd
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    Default Singapore Will Announce F1 Decision At 5pm On 11 May 2007

    Singapore will announce F1 decision at 5pm on 11 May 2007.

  3. #3
    Hard Rock Café
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    Default Singapore Tycoon's Aide Says To Attend F1 Briefing

    Reuters
    Singapore
    Friday, May 11, 3:05pm

    An aide to Singapore tycoon Ong Beng Seng has confirmed that he will be attending a government press conference to announce its decision on hosting a Formula One (F1) race in the city-state.

    The office of Colin Syn, who heads the Hard Rock Cafe franchise of Ong's Hotel Properties Ltd., said Syn would be attending the briefing at 0900 GMT or 5pm local time.

    Hotel Properties had earlier said that any investment by Ong in the F1 race would be in his private capacity.

  4. #4
    AsiaOne
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    Default Singapore's F1 Announcement Today

    Julian Lim
    AsiaOne
    11 May 2007

    The Ministry of Trade & Industry (MTI) has called a media conference at 5 pm today to announce its decision on hosting a Formula One race in Singapore.

    Sent at 2.20pm this afternoon, the media release from MTI requested journalists to arrive latest by 4.30pm, which is significantly shorter notice than usual for press conferences, signalling the possibility of the long-awaited confirmation of what Singapore motorists have been longing for.

    Earlier this week, the media reported that a company named 'Singapore GP Pte Ltd' had been registered with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority on May 3, with an issued capital of 20 million shares of $1 each. Under one of the pre-requisite fields, the company's activity has been described as 'event promotion'.

    Two of its three directors are closely tied with property tycoon, Ong Beng Seng, who has been leading the charge to bring Formula One. Ong is the top man at hotel and resorts developer, Hotel Properties Ltd.

    F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, also stopped over in Singapore en route to the Australian Grand Prix earlier this year for talks with Ong and some government officials.

    Senior officials from MTI and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth & Sports (MCYS), in comments made, also showed their support for staging the F1 here, but also made clear that they would leave the private sector to spearhead the effort. A government entourage also went to Melbourne for the opening race of the season, fuelling further speculation that an announcement was due then.

    Motorsports Asia, a forum, has been abuzz with chats on hosting the race. And recent stopovers by Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber and Team AT&T Williams' Alex Wurtz got those watching the scene intently even more excited.

    The media has in the past week been focusing on the operational details of the race, such as the proposed street circuit and the new 'night racing' concept, which threw up many practical issues that would have to be addressed, such as the massive task of lighting the track with power-sapping floodlights. And still, we waited.

    Will the 5 pm announcement put the months of behind-the-scenes wrangling and media speculation behind us? We will know soon.

  5. #5
    CNA
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    Default Singapore To Host F1 Race In 2008

    ChannelNewsAsia
    Singapore
    11 May 2007

    Singapore will hold a Formula One race in 2008.

    This was announced at a press conference on Friday afternoon.

    Formula One head Bernie Ecclestone had earlier met property tycoon Ong Beng Seng to discuss the possibility of holding the race in the Republic.

    Singapore is keen to host an F1 race and the government has given its blessing to the negotiations between Mr Ong and Mr Ecclestone.

    However financial and logistical hurdles have recently slowed progress on a deal.

    The government said it was "willing to support such a venture up to a level commensurate with the broader benefits to the economy".

    The cost of hosting a race is estimated to be US$70 million.

    Aside from the costs, the task of working out logistics, particularly maximising public safety and minimising disruptions to local businesses in the area earmarked for the race, was also proving to be a challenge.

    A senior member of Mr Ong's team has previously said a decision needed to be made by April this year if they were to be ready for a 2008 race.

  6. #6
    Supporter
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    Default Re: Singapore To Host F1 Race In 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by CNA
    ChannelNewsAsia
    Singapore
    11 May 2007

    Singapore will hold a Formula One race in 2008.

    This was announced at a press conference on Friday afternoon.

    Formula One head Bernie Ecclestone had earlier met property tycoon Ong Beng Seng to discuss the possibility of holding the race in the Republic.

    Singapore is keen to host an F1 race and the government has given its blessing to the negotiations between Mr Ong and Mr Ecclestone.

    However financial and logistical hurdles have recently slowed progress on a deal.

    The government said it was "willing to support such a venture up to a level commensurate with the broader benefits to the economy".

    The cost of hosting a race is estimated to be US$70 million.

    Aside from the costs, the task of working out logistics, particularly maximising public safety and minimising disruptions to local businesses in the area earmarked for the race, was also proving to be a challenge.

    A senior member of Mr Ong's team has previously said a decision needed to be made by April this year if they were to be ready for a 2008 race.

    Wah liao!
    How can the property prices not go up?
    Cheong ah!

  7. #7
    Reuters
    Guest

    Default Singapore Says To Host Formula One Race In 2008

    Reuters
    Singapore
    11 May 2007

    Singapore will host a Formula One race in 2008, a government minister said on Friday.

    S. Iswaran, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, told a press briefing that a first race could be held in September or October next year and might be a night race.

    A Formula One night race would be the first in the world, although several Grand Prix drivers have spoken against it, citing safety concerns.

    Singapore wants to host the Formula One race to attract more tourists and raise its profile abroad.

  8. #8
    joe
    Guest

    Default Re: A corporate step closer to F1 in S'pore

    Singapore wins right to host F1 race next year
    Posted: 11 May 2007 1715 hrs

    SINGAPORE : Singapore has won the right to host a Formula One Grand Prix next year, an official said Friday.

    The race will be held either in September or early October on a street circuit around the downtown Marina Bay district, Minister of State for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran told a news briefing.

    Iswaran said it could "potentially" be the world's first night race, but organisers are still looking at safety issues.

    "Safety is of paramount importance to all of us. Therefore we will proceed with a night race only if the safety and operational requirements of all parties... are fully met," he said.

    "If not we will revert to a day race."

    Singapore has an option to host for a further five years and expects annual tourism receipts from the event of about S$100 million.

    Formula One head Bernie Ecclestone had earlier met property tycoon Ong Beng Seng to discuss the possibility of holding the race in the Republic.

    Singapore is keen to host an F1 race and the government had given its blessing to the negotiations between Mr Ong and Mr Ecclestone.

    However financial and logistical hurdles have recently slowed progress on a deal.

    The government has said that it was "willing to support such a venture up to a level commensurate with the broader benefits to the economy".

    Aside from the costs, the task of working out logistics, particularly maximising public safety and minimising disruptions to local businesses in the area earmarked for the race, was also proving to be a challenge.

    A senior member of Mr Ong's team has previously said a decision needed to be made by April this year if they were to be ready for a 2008 race. - CNA/ch

  9. #9
    Formula One
    Guest

    Default Singapore Confirms 2008 Night Race

    Formula One
    11 May 2007

    Singapore will host a round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship, it was confirmed on Friday. The race, to be held on a new street circuit, will be the first night-time event in Formula One history.

    The announcement follows the agreement of a five-year deal between FOM CEO Bernie Ecclestone, Singapore entrepreneur Mr Ong Beng Seng, and the Singapore Tourism Board.

    “I am very pleased to welcome Singapore to the Formula One family and we look forward to this exotic addition to the championship,” said Ecclestone. “This will be the first fully lit street race in Formula One.

    “As a night race we anticipate it will quickly establish itself as one of the most dramatic and atmospheric races on our calendar. I know the Formula One drivers, teams and fans are all looking forward to coming to Singapore next year.”

    The new race is scheduled to take place towards the end of the calendar in September or October. The timing of the night event means it can be broadcast at a convenient time for European TV audiences as well as thrilling local fans. It is also expected to have a hugely positive economic impact on the region.

    "We are delighted to have reached a deal to bring this landmark event to Singapore, and look forward to working with F1, the Singapore Tourism Board and the business community to deliver a great race and vibrant support events together with the very best of Singapore’s famed hospitality and cuisine.” Ong added.

    The Singapore Grand Prix will take place on public roads around the Marina Bay area. The design proposal includes powerful lighting systems that will replicate daylight conditions and the most stringent safety protocols will be applied to ensure driver and spectator safety.

    Grandstand seating and hospitality areas lining the track will be able to accommodate more than 80,000 spectators, while a permanent pit area with deluxe paddock facilities will be built adjacent to the existing Singapore Flyer complex.

    “It will be more than just a motor race,” commented Singapore’s Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Mr S Iswaran. “We envision it to be a national festival, and one that presents many opportunities for participation for everyone, both visitors and Singaporeans alike.

    “Singaporeans are excited about the race coming to Singapore and I share their enthusiasm. Singapore looks forward to welcoming the Formula One drivers, teams and fans to Singapore next year.”

    The Singapore Grand Prix will be managed by Singapore GP Pte Ltd, a newly incorporated race promotion company formed between Komoco Motors and regional events company Lushington Entertainments, via its parent company Reef Enterprises.

  10. #10
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    Default S'pore F1 on the starting grid

    Published May 12, 2007

    S'pore F1 on the starting grid

    Ong Beng Seng, STB, hotels to jointly foot the bill; F1 cess of not more than 30% to be levied on room rates

    By SAMUEL EE


    (SINGAPORE) After months of intense speculation, it was finally announced yesterday - Singapore will host the Formula One Grand Prix from 2008 for five years, with the tab to be picked up by the race promoter Ong Beng Seng, the Singapore Tourism Board, and the hotels in the vicinity of the proposed route.

    The cost of staging an F1 race can be up to $150 million, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry S Iswaran at a press conference yesterday.

    'Given the broader economic benefits from an F1 race that do not accrue to the race promoter, there is a case for commensurate support from public funds,' said Mr Iswaran. 'STB will therefore co-fund about 60 per cent of the cost of the event from the Tourism Development Fund.'

    Flanked by Mr Ong and STB chief executive Lim Neo Chian, he added that since such an event also benefits Singapore hotels, which can double or treble their room rates, they will contribute via a special F1 cess on room revenues.

    'The F1 cess will be for a limited period of around seven days around the race,' explained Mr Iswaran. 'It will be tiered so that track-side hotels which will benefit from the highest increases in room rates will pay a higher rate, and those farther away will pay a lower rate.'

    The cess will not be more than 30 per cent and is expected to raise an average of $15 million to $20 million a year.

    Mr Ong's newly-registered company, Singapore GP Pte Ltd, secured the rights from the Formula One Group after 12 months of negotiations. The first race will be held next year in September or early October and it will take place at night - an F1 first - if all safety requirements are met. The 5.2-kilometre street circuit will wind its way around the Singapore Flyer ferris wheel, past the Esplanade theatre, Fullerton Hotel and Padang, before turning into Raffles Boulevard and looping back by Republic Boulevard.

    The government's aim is for a world class event like the F1 race to help make Singapore a vibrant global city filled with high quality entertainment and events. The race will also give the tourism sector a strong boost, generating incremental tourism receipts of $100 million a year. But Mr Iswaran said the benefits of F1 go beyond tourism.

    As for Mr Ong, he is 'elated by the prospect of doing this and I hope I can do a good job of it'. The 60-year-old property tycoon was motivated by personal interest to bring F1 here as well as his love of sports.

    'I believe it's good for Singapore and it's good for F1 to be in Singapore,' said the normally media-shy hotelier. 'It's a good marriage and win-win for all parties.'

    F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, speaking via teleconference, said there would not have been a race if not for his friendship with Mr Ong.

    'It's not been too easy, without being rude to government officials,' Mr Ecclestone said drily, referring to the talks. 'But you've done a good job and it's all gone through fine.'

    Mr Ong also called the discussions trying and challenging, saying: 'It's tough in all aspects but well-supported by all government agencies.'

    One source close to the negotiations claimed the deal almost fell through about a couple of weeks ago because the race owner had 'walked away from the table'.

    'The government agencies wanted justification for things like the sanction costs and viewership numbers and the discussions had gone on for so long that the F1 management was going to give up on Singapore,' he said. But he added that there was pressure for a second F1 bid to succeed and the deal was salvaged. In 1989, Mr Ong had proposed building an F1 track but it was turned down by the government.

    At yesterday's press conference, Mr Ong hinted at the possible difficulties, saying that up till last week, he didn't know whether a deal would happen or not.

    He said problems related to 'the money part', the street circuit and leakages from buildings around the route. Leakages refer to the problem of people who don't buy a ticket but instead watch the race from a hotel room.

    Questions were asked about the possible shortfall in revenue that Mr Ong's company would bear, but he replied by saying it was 'premature to go into financial details because the exact costing will depend on specifics'.

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