In Motorland, the less and less brand new motorcycling circuit of Alcañiz (Teruel), more capital increases are made to avoid bankruptcies than MotoGP races: the score is from eighteen to eleven, waiting for September 12 to take place another edition of some races whose economic result is as predictable as in the previous ones, a trend whose own maintenance, of so consolidated, is surprising.
The motorcycling circuit accelerates towards 70 million euros of accumulated losses since its activity started in 2010, a period in which, between the initial investment with an extra cost of 27 million in construction, subsidies, economic injections through the FITE (Teruel Investment Fund) and capital increases, has consumed about 200 million euros of public money, according to a report of the Chamber of Accounts and of the public information of the company.
The effect of the circuit on public accounts, especially in the autonomous ones, would be quite similar to that of a public money shredder, given the magnitude of the resources that it has been consuming and the amount of returns that these expenses and investments generate.
The key to that economic outlook is found in the business model itself, in which the fees paid by the public company to the advertising firm Dorna to organize the races far outweigh any sensible revenue forecast on those events. And that, obviously, reopens, as it does periodically, the debate about the suitability for institutions to get involved in such events.
These rights expire this year, something that places the regional government, which has been pulling the car for more than a decade with a significant economic cost, faced with the dilemma of maintaining the current model, breaking with the motor circus or looking for new alternative formulas to maintain the activity of the circuit.
Lower losses the lower the activity
The last to explain it has been the Minister of Industry, Competitiveness and Business Development of the Government of Aragon, Arturo Aliaga, who in his answer to a question in which the IU deputy Álvaro Sanz was really interested in knowing “with what funds intends to face the Government of Aragon the capital increase announced in Motorland “given the” budgetary situation of the autonomous community.
The director does not clarify this question, although he does point out that “the capital increase is specified in 8,999,997’44 euros”, which was formalized on March 2, which places the company’s capital at 44.53 million and that its The purpose is for the circuit to “meet the commitments derived from the contract that covers the celebration of the Aragón Moto GP Grand Prix, signed with Dorna”, for the period from 2017 to 2021.
In this sense, one of the data contained in the answer is striking: the company’s losses went from 8.1 million euros in 2018 to 6.66 in 2019 to be reduced to 2.28 in 2020, a year in the that “as a consequence of the context generated by the pandemic [de la] COVID-19, the temporary closure of its facilities, together with restrictions on movements in other countries, has caused a decrease in sales of 74% compared to the same period in 2019. ”
In other words, the year with the least activity of the circuit since its inauguration in 2010, with a spectacular drop in income, has been by far the one with the lowest losses for the public company, something that is, to say the least, curious.
The mismatch has been around seven million per year since the beginning of operations, with a cumulative amount of 51.8 until 2017 to which the 17 of the last three years are added. On paper, it had been designed to win 16.
Expensive racing fees weigh on business
Twelve years later, the Government of Aragon admits, or continues to admit, that the annual losses of the circuit, whose origin is in “the high payments for the rights of organization of large sporting events”, are something “common to this type of circuits of international event races “, which once again puts on the table the role of administrations as funders of this type of activity.
However, the official discourse remains in the same coordinates in which it has been since the numbers began to be known: “The benefit of this project must be sought as a whole and not by analyzing the accounts alone the Ciudad del Motor de Aragón society “, says the counselor.
“There are not many world championships in Aragon,” argues Aliaga, who cites as beneficial effects of the complex the promotion of the territory to 300 million spectators, the fact that “its championships bring together more than 100,000 people in the region, several times a year. year “or the links between TechnoPark and MotorLand Technology Park with industry and technology in the mobility and automotive sectors, apart from the” at least 30 million euros per year “that according to” the most recent economic impact studies ” “the pilots, companions, visitors and the public” are left in the territory, part of them as “an inflow of foreign currency” that is added “to the local circulating money.”
Finally, the Ministry figures with data from 2019 at 17.1 million euros the “annual aggregate turnover” of the 16 companies that operate in Technopark. Ciudad del Motor employs 66 people in Alcañiz.