Jerez de la Frontera Circuit in Danger of Closing

03/01/2011 @ 4:56 pm, by Jensen Beeler3 COMMENTS

Spanish fans might get short-changed one of their four MotoGP rounds this year, as news comes that the managing group of the Jerez de la Frontera track has hit financial troubles. Missing a €2.5 million payment to the city of Jerez, courts have frozen Cirjesa’s assets (the company that oversees the circuit’s operations), which includes its payment to Dorna to host the Spanish GP round.

Jerez de la Frontera incurred these costs after re-vamping its facility back in 2005, a move which was financed by the Spanish city and other financial backer. With the land valued at €17 million, there is plenty of equity in the circuit to make good on the outstanding payment, and it looks like the city is eyeing the surrounding property for recompense on some of the full debt amount.

While this news could put in jeopardy the track’s slot for the MotoGP season, we don’t think it’s quite time to break out the “Save Jerez” banners just yet. Considering how much revenue the track brings in to the Spanish City, and what an important event it is for the circuit, we find it unlikely the courts would do anything to truly jeopardize the running of the Spanish GP at Jerez.

Still, the court involved with the proceeding is taking things seriously, and has requested all contracts and documents pertaining to Jerez de la Frontera’s promotion, television broadcasting rights, and advertising agreements. MotoGP is slatted to hit Jerez on April 3rd, so whatever is going to happen, is going to unfold in the next few weeks.

Source: Diario de Sevilla

  • I’d love to know what Dorna charges a Spanish venue. One imagines that hosting a MotoGP round in Spain is nearly a license to print money. Assuming the event stands a good chance of turning a profit, I should think the creditors would want to ensure it is held. On the other hand, if they’ve seen the books and determined it’s not actually profitable… Well, I guess it would be an example of Spanish cities being held for ransom by track developers in the same way that stadium developers and major league franchise owners rip off American cities.

  • GeddyT

    There is absolutely no way the Jerez GP is being skipped this year. €2.5 million is peanuts compared to the ticket, concessions, vendor, and–most importantly–TV money any Spanish race brings in. Let alone that with all of the lost earnings from hotel stays, restaurant dinners, souvenirs, etc., the local chamber of commerce would find those responsible for canceling the race and hang them! The local economy would easily find themselves at a net loss were there to be no race.

    Let’s not forget that Jerez is one of the primary testing tracks as well. The teams have too much data wrapped up in that circuit.

    Didn’t Yamaha save the USGP with timely multi-million dollar sponsorship deals for facility renovations? I’m sure Circuito de Jerez will figure out something similar.

  • Dave

    I stopped at Jerez last November. It seemed quite vibrant from outside the gate. Will be a shame to loose it.