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US Grand Prix Suffers Substantial Drop in Government Subsidy

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    us.jpg With a 20 percent drop in state funding, the future of the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas has been thrown in to doubt in recent days.

    The Austin circuit is understood to have been receiving a subsidy of $250 million over a 10-year period from the state of Texas due to the economic boost F1 brought to the area. However, the Austin American Statesman publication reported the governor's office is set to reduce support payments from around $25m to $19.5m, based on a different formula of calculating how much economic activity the race generates for the local economy.

    On top of a loss in revenue from lost ticket sales and refunds from the 2015 event due to the severe weather conditions during the racing weekend, COTA chairman Bobby Epstein had the following to say to the American Statesman:

    "To use a technical term, I think we're screwed... The state clearly made promises. I think we made a deal, and we lived up to our end of the deal... It's like if you go to a restaurant and order a dinner, and then after you've eaten the meal, they change the price."00

    With Formula One keen to promote itself in the United States the latest news comes as a considerable setback to once and for all gaining a strong foothold in the US market. Bernie Ecclestone feels pessimistic about the prospects of remaining at the COTA circuit, commenting that "If it's changed, it's going to be difficult to continue the race in Austin," when asked about the reduction in funding the circuit will receive in the future.

    Extreme weather conditions certainly did not help, despite Sunday's race being the best race of the season.

    With talk ongoing about a possible second event in America, the question on everybody's lips will be if another location can be ready in time to take the place of Austin, or if Mr. E can find a few million knocking around in the bottom of his very deep pockets to keep the American dream alive in Formula One.

    With overall crowd figures down in 2015 (apportioned partly to the bad weather and coupled with the return of neighbouring Mexico returning to the calendar) the future of the US Grand Prix in Austin is on very shaky ground indeed.

    Do you think the US Grand Prix in Austin has been a positive addition to the Grand Prix schedule? Let us know in the comments section below!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2015
  2. Hal Burns

    Hal Burns

    I like it and would love to go to Austin to watch the race, drink beer, eat BBQ and listen to country music, but Bernie would prefer to have it in some 3rd rate dump where the gangsters or oil barons have enough dough to pay him off.
  3. Yeschristopher


    LAME! I hope it stays I really wanted to go this year but I didn't have the funds at the time. I did get to go to the SVRA event last weekend which was awesome and only cost me 30 bucks including parking!
  4. Matt Y

    Matt Y

    Just move it to Long Beach, Road America, the road course at Daytona, Sebring or back to The Brickyard.
  5. doctharock


    Would love to see it at Road America or Daytona.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. awatring57


    I've always been for bringing it back to Indy. The Daytona road course would be interesting due to the high banking.
  7. TomcatMF


    I've been to CotA three times, including this year. It is an excellent track (but they need to figure out how to prepare better for wet weather) that produces some great racing. I really hope they keep it going.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Blkout


    I would hate to see any American tracks leave the F1 circuit. This was my first year that I was able to attend an F1 race at COTA and I loved it. Even though the weather was terrible, the race was great and I had planned to go back next year. That being said, I think COTA is a wonderful track but the parking is terrible and taints the experience.
    • Like Like x 1
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