These areas are operated on a first come, first served basis and are open to all general admission ticket holders.
Fans can greet drivers, team principals and teams arriving at the Melbourne Walk arena and watch interviews with them on the Fan Forum stage.
“The justification for spending the $200 was that the area in front of the fan forum stage is worth it — there are so many people going there,” Hudson said.
After noticing that the website did not mention any specific areas either on the Melbourne Walk or on the stage, Hudson emailed the organizers who informed her that this was no longer a benefit for Access23 holders.
“They’re trying to capitalize on popularity [Netflix documentary series] Drive to survive. You know people are going to pay the extra $200 for the presale,” Hudson said.
“It’s really disappointing. That’s a lot of money for nothing.”
Haydn Lane, general manager of corporate affairs at the Australian Grand Prix, said that while the benefits of the program have changed, patrons now have greater options.
“Access23’s pricing structure changed from a tiered system in 2022 to an a la carte model in 2023, offering customers the ability to scale their purchase based on the customized experiences they desire,” he said.
Due to the “a la carte model,” fans must first purchase the $200 ticket known as the “base token.” This ticket includes presale access to next year’s Grand Prix, a Thursday general admission pass (adult ticket is $36), and a five percent discount on merchandise.
The token then “unlocks” additional experiences that can be purchased at an additional cost. These experiences include a pit lane tour (priced at $150) or a lap around the track in a race car.
However, most of these experiences cannot be purchased directly – fans must bid for them in auctions.
The program drew criticism from fans when it launched in 2022 because some of the experiences available for purchase were free for GP Advantage members – a loyalty program that was phased out in 2019.
“GP Advantage was a popular program for many years, but due to the incredible increase in demand for tickets to the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, the program was simply unsustainable,” said Lane.
“Access23 is a new program that offers all fans the opportunity to add experiences to their tickets.”
General admission tickets to the event have also increased over the past three years. Between 2020 and 2023, a four-day adult card has increased by 35 percent.
The highest percentage increases between 2022 and 2023 for general admission were the Friday concession (a 68 percent increase); Friday Adult (52 percent increase); and the four-day concession (a 50 percent increase).
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/motorsport/a-lot-of-money-for-nothing-fans-frustration-over-grand-prix-ticket-change-20230316-p5cskh.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Ticket change leads to fan frustration