Spectator numbers on the rise
The Finnish round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Neste Oil Rally Finland, which took place in the beginning of August, saw an increase in the spectator numbers compared to last year. The current positive upswing of the WRC, the Finnish
drivers´ exciting prospects in the Championship, plus the fantastic weather attracted approximately 300,000 visits to Central Finland during the weekend.
"One could say that this was a return to business as usual," stated Managing Director Jarmo Mahonen from AKK Sports Ltd, the company responsible for organising the event. "Last year we lost about a fifth of the spectators, but this year they were back again. The date seems to be the main factor in getting spectators back. Having the event later in August means that schools have already started and people have spent their summer holidays. The so called Sports Super Weekend in Finland, during which there was the year´s biggest trotting-race in Kouvola and an equally big and important athletics meeting in Lappeenranta in addition to our event, did not have any effect on our spectator figures either, even though we did anticipate that it would.
"There were huge crowds along the rally route, and judging by the different national flags our Southern neighbours, the Estonians, have made a comeback in full force after a couple of 'slower' years.
As per previous years, the Rally HQ was located in and around the Jyväskylä Paviljonki Congress and Trade Fair Centre. The Paviljonki area, offering many different activities and entertainment, attracted again a great number of visitors.
"Saturday especially was a positive surprise," he continued. "The route circled around the Jämsä area that day and also a Remote Service was held in the Jämsä city centre on Saturday afternoon. In spite of that, especially the people living in Jyväskylä came to check out the action in the Paviljonki Rally HQ. This must have been furthered also by the Happy Hour we organised, during which there was no entrance fee into the Paviljonki area."
The Corporate Hospitality opportunities offered by Neste Oil Rally Finland were also utilised by businesses in record numbers.
"The hospitality events organised by AKK Sports Ltd were sold out well in advance. In total over 12,000 corporate guest enjoyed the Finnish rally atmosphere," said Rally Finland Marketing Manager Anu Helin.
Source Neste Oil Rally Finland