This years biggest motorsport event in Estonia, also a part of the European Rally Championship – Rally Estonia, had an estimated 30 000 spectators. This number was gotten from mobile phone position tracking. The organizers hope to get the number up to 50 000 within a few years.
“Actually, we were hoping for even more spectators, but it’s difficult to create an ‘explosion’ of people in one year,” said the main organizer of the event, Urmo Aava. Compared to last years, the amount increased by a third. “Rally Finland is spectated by about 100 000, which is a dream for us, but 50 000 is a reality. We expect more people from foreign tourism and from our own country.”
Rally Estonia organizers had ordered a research, which is to show the affect that the rally had on the economy of Tartu.
“Cultural and sports events have an even bigger affect on the economy than expected. In other parts of the world, such research shows that there’s a prolonged affect on the economy, which last even after the events are done,” was written in the research.
“We knew that the money amounts would reach millions, but we didn’t know exactly how much, that’s why we ordered a research.”
The governing body of ERC are very interested in Rally Estonia – in fact they were so impressed, that the rally still holds first place in points rating that the ERC officials give after each event. “There are three ERC rallies to go, but we expect to still maintain at least a top three position in that table,” added Aava.
Aava believes, that he and his team are able to do much more and he’s ready to take a step further to do that. He says that making this a tradition and introducing the rally in neighbouring countries is very important. The ERC officials have offered Rally Estonia a three-year deal, but Aava can’t sign it just yet.
“I’m not taking the responsibility before we have had agreements from the four most important supporters, which the rally relies on. These are EAS, with tourism, the Estonian Cultural Ministry, Tartu city and auto24, our name sponsor, of which the last one we have an agreement with.”
written by Karli Pikk