This November, many Austinites will be able to add another event on their "things to do around Austin" list. On November 16, Austin will be holding its first Formula One (F1) race in the city. The track, called the Circuit of the Americas (source), will be the penultimate race of the F1 season. However, despite the excitement surrounding this event, there are many who think that this is a bad idea.
Back in 2010, news broke out that organizers of F1 would begin plans on building a track in Travis County (Source). The contract between the city and the organizers proposed a 10-year agreement for a Grand Prix to be held on the track. However, many of those who oppose this plan believes that Austin will not have enough money or land to construct and maintain such a high class facility. They believe that Texas does not have that kind of money to be spending. In some ways, they're right. With a budget deficit of $27 billion dollars, this will further cut into this deficit affecting the economy and with the state cutting spending left and right, this will be counter intuitive. In fact, the state announced that they would provide $25 million dollars per year to support the event costing $250 million dollars for the 10 year contract (source). However, one thing to note is the fact that there have been reports where estimated revenue will be around $300 million dollars a year. This means that one year of these events will pay of the rest of the nine years (source).
Another thing to note is the fact that tickets to these events don't come cheap. With a minimum value of $1000 up to $5000 and an option to arrive by helicopter, its easy to say that these tickets are targeted towards the big spenders.(source)(source) This will allow for greater income since these people will not look twice before spending money.
Austin's image will also change positively. With the addition of an F1 track in Austin, the city will join the place of other cities that have hosted Grand Prix events such as Reims, Barcelona, and Buenos Aires. In fact, with the race in November, this will be the first time a Grand Prix has taken place in the U.S. since 2007 and in Texas since 1984.
The circuit does not contain only racing either. Right next to it will be The Tower Amphitheater where a capacity of 15,000 will enjoy live music organized by Live Nation, one of America's top entertainment company (source). This will only further the revenues when it is completed around 2013.
Overall, we see that the addition of this F1 circuit will only bring good news for Austin. By increasing revenue and bringing many avid racing fans from around the world, Austin is starting to become a major city in the U.S. and in the world.