May 30, 2018 / 4:07 PM / in 24 days

Sarajevo interested in hosting Formula E race

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Sarajevo is hoping to host a Formula E race next year after a proposal by the Bosnian capital’s mayor was backed unanimously by the city council on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French tyre maker Michelin is seen on a Formula E racing car on display at the innovative center of German postal and logistics group Deutsche Post DHL in Troisdorf near Bonn, western Germany March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

The council now needs to approve 100,000 euros ($116,040) of funding for a feasibility study with organizers of the all-electric city-based series.

There was no immediate comment from Formula E.

Formula E has already announced that the opening round of the 2018-19 season will be held in the Saudi Arabian city of Riyadh, and is in discussion with a number of undisclosed locations.

A full calendar is due to be published in June.

FILE PHOTO - Formula E - Berlin E-Prix - Flughafen Tempelhof, Berlin, Germany - May 19, 2018 Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler's Daniel Abt during the race REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

Mayor Abdulah Skaka said bringing a race to Sarajevo, whose plight became synonymous with a 44-month siege by Bosnian Serb forces during the Bosnian war in the 1990s, would boost tourism and the economy.

Nearly 500,000 international and local visitors came to the Sarajevo region last year, up 22 percent from 2016, according to city authorities.

Despite boasting some of the largest green areas in the region, Sarajevo lies in a valley surrounded by high mountains and is notoriously prone to fog.

Heavy traffic, poor spatial planning and solid-fuel based heating are mostly to blame for the poor air quality.

Reporting by Maja Zuvela: Editing by Daria Sito-Sucic and Alan Baldwin

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