• Jun 3, 2010
Love it or hate it, the Formula One circus is heading to Austin, Texas. The reinstated United States Grand Prix is set to take place in the Lone Star capital city starting in 2012 and the annual event will surely infuse an added boost of tourism revenue into the Austin area. But just how much will the initiative cost Texas taxpayers?

The first indication could be the licensing fee which Formula One Management chief Bernie Ecclestone charges race organizers for the right to hold the event and its inclusion in the championship. The fee varies for each venue, and nearly every grand prix is financially supported in some capacity by local governments eager to put their locations on the map. Austin's bill reportedly comes to $25 million for the first year, and will be passed on to local government for the first year at least. After that, the revenues from the previous year's race will go towards Ecclestone's fee for the following season.

Assuming Bernie applies the same 7% annual increase as he does to other venues, that means the race will need to generate $26.75 million in its first year to cover just the licensing fee for the following year. Considering that – with advertising, concessions and just about everything else going straight to Bernie's pockets and some to the teams – ticket sales remain as one of the few ways for race organizers to recuperate the costs.

[Source: Austin American-Statesman via F1 Fanatic | Image: Daniel Mayer CC2.0]


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  • 46 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Im not looking forward to added taxes but I cant wait to go to my first Formula 1 race.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Even though it would hurt TMS, I'd like to see the 2nd NASCAR race moved to this track (if built), and the IRL run down there as well. Throw in MotoGP too. There are plenty of weeks to have an event and still be nice weather (skip July/Aug), and another road track would help NASCAR, IMO
        • 4 Years Ago
        . . . whatever and wherever they build this F1 track, lets hope it's spectacular with long fast sweeping corners, chicanes and different elevation changes, not like the mickey mouse F1 Indy track . . . Go US Grand Prix !!
        • 4 Years Ago
        they are not building a course -- f1 is run on the streets.
        • 4 Years Ago
        all previous reports are saying that a purpose built track will be made.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No other races will be able to generate the revenue needed to support this thing. I'm the first to want F1 back and I think Austin is incredible but this is going to bury that city AND Texas.

        Who would be so dumb as to build a $250-$300 million track with private money that gets barely any use, even with NASCAR? No one. So who gets left with the tab, whether it works or not? Taxpayers. It's going to be a mess.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There have been several stories on AB here where it has been stated that they want a racetrack built, even that Tilke would design it. That said, since the construction has not started, and no real proof that everything is in place to start soon, having a track in place for 2012 seems remote. So the 1st (and maybe 2nd) race could be Austin streets.

        Then they could have BBQ Pit stops. ;-)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Who cares? Really?

      If you don't live in Texas it's not your problem. My family resides in the Lone Star State and they have no problems with this.

      Texas isn't broke.
      • 4 Years Ago
      don't advertisers pay for this?
      • 4 Years Ago
      how about no? to extortion
      • 4 Years Ago
      I ain't goin to no socialist Government Prix!
        • 4 Years Ago
        that's made in communist china?
        • 4 Years Ago
        would you call the socialist fire department if your house was on fire? How about the socialist police dept if someone was breaking in?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, Clinton banned the import of Chinese arms and ammunition by presidential order. No Norinco for you!

        • 4 Years Ago
        sarcasm
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hopefully too much and they drop this ridiculous idea before it even gets started. No one wants to see a Grand Prix in the USA - the country isn't interested and you just know that we'll get an oval, maybe with a few chicanes in it like Indy had.

      We need to get back to the good circuits, like Imola, Magny Cours and Estoril.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Track wouldn't work for NASCAR. Left and right turns would confuse the fans and complicate the announcers :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        And the drivers. How many don't show up to road course races?
      • 4 Years Ago
      there is no plan to build a facility, F1 would be run on the streets. the costs are just to put the race on.
        • 4 Years Ago
        shut the hell up! They are building a new track 10 miles from the airport.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You are 100% wrong, they are building a completely new facility. Stop repeating the same BS "fact."
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bernie is a bloody thief....IMO
      wm62
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow. It's hard to believe, so many know so little.
      To start, there is a 25 million dollar fund,that in the past has been used for things like,the final four, the nba allstar game, South by South west, ROT rally,ect...
      It was approved last year, to fund the F1 fees. Not the track. It is not an additional tax. It won't cost tax payers, anything more than they pay right now.
      The track is privitely funded, and funding has been in place, for some time. In fact, the plans were completed last year, as well.
      And who was it that said, California pays Texas"s taxes ? Please! Go educate yourself.
      Texas is doing quite well. We may not have the terminator as the gov., but we are doing just fine.
      • 4 Years Ago
      i just wanna know how much tickets will be and when to book my flight and room.
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