Nobody admitting how many Formula E fans got freebies
Published Monday, July 31, 2017 7:02PM EDT
Organizers say 45,000 people watched the Formula E races from the grandstands this weekend -- but will not say how many of those fans bought tickets, and how many used tickets that were given away.
Montreal gave away tickets to businesses and people living in the area affected by the race track and the many street closures necessary for it to take place.
However neither the city nor Evenko would confirm how many tickets were purchased, nor would they say how many people received upgrades to move up to the front rows.
CTV reporters talking to fans on the weekend had a tough time finding people who had not received a discount or an upgrade.
"We bought general admission tickets and outside we were lucky, we stumbled onto someone giving out bracelets and we're here now," said Chris Mavritsakis and his son, sitting in the front row.
Other fans bought tickets from scalpers and paid less than the ticket price.
"We bought our tickets for ten bucks and we were upgraded," said Sylvain Villeneuve.
There were caveats: if people who had paid full price showed up, some fans would have to return to their original seats.
But fans knew why they were being encouraged to sit closer to the track.
"For the camera, it's better if the seats are not empty," said Villeneuve.
As far as Evenko and Mayor Denis Coderre are concerned, the race was a great success.
"The E-Prix was exciting, it was a bit dramatic because that's the purpose of championship, but frankly I'm satisfied," said Coderre.
Coderre admitted the lead-up to the race, including communication between the city and residents , could have been better, and promised to improve next year.
That's simply not good enough for his opposition rival.
"What I want to see and what Montrealers want to see is numbers. How many people attended? How many free tickets versus how many tickets were given? So we want to have a real review which we didn't have," said Valerie Plante.