Thailand is poised to extend their MotoGP agreement with a five-year deal with the series’ commercial rights-holder, Dorna Sports.
Under the current agreement, the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, a provincial city in the northeast of the country, has hosted a grand prix since 2018, and will hold its third and final edition next year.
According to the Bangkok Post, the governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, Gongsak Yodmani, said: “Thailand has massively benefited from hosting MotoGP.”
“A contract extension should be complete after the (Thai) cabinet approves it in November.”
Estimates from the Thai Tourism and Sports Ministry from the second Thailand Grand Prix this year showed 226,655 spectators over the weekend, a slight increase of 4,120 from the inaugural year.
The Thailand Grand Prix has helped build Thailand’s image with TV broadcasts reaching over 600 million viewers in more than 200 countries, as well as helped showcase the country’s ability to host major sports events and boost Thailand’s tourism industry, and Gongsak plans to request that the government shoulder two-thirds of the licencing fee to Dorna, to help ease the event’s financial burden on the private sector.
Currently, the licencing fee to host the MotoGP is reportedly ฿300m ($9.8m), and the Thai government pays one third of the amount. The Chang International Circuit pays the remaining two-thirds of the annual fee.
There are also ongoing discussions to also make the Thailand Grand Prix a night race to avoid the tropical heat, according to circuit owner Newin Chidchob, and the change could come as early as the next edition to be held in March 2020.