Circuit of the Americas is two years old now and its effects on the regional and state economy are becoming more apparent. Velvet Cartel is staffed with proud Austinites and F1 fans and we wanted to know how effectively COTA is operating outside of Formula One events. Watch and read what Austin Business Journal has to report on the matter.
The Circuit of The Americas, the $400 million racetrack in southeast Austin, has an annual economic impact of $897 million dollars for the Austin area, according to a report released Tuesday by consulting firm Greyhill Advisors.
That total reflects the dollar value generated by the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix race, which was the main attraction that led to the facility's construction, as well as more than 200 other concerts, festivals and corporate events COTA hosted from Oct. 1, 2013 to Sept. 30 of this year.
More than 1.1 million people visited COTA during the period studied, with out-of-town spectators for events such as the U.S. Grand Prix and ESPN X Games staying an average of four nights and spending money at local hotels and restaurants. Greyhill also found that COTA has generated $2.8 billion in cumulative economic activity since its opening in fall 2012 ahead of its first U.S. GP. The third race takes place this weekend, with an array of concerts and lavish partiesscheduled to attract spectators who traveled to Austin for the race.
Bobby Epstein, one of the lead investors of the track, said COTA's management team is working to attract a broad array of events so that the Austin community thinks of it as more that just a facility that hosts an international motor sports event.
"COTA and F1 are different entities, an we're the venue that hosts the event along with many others," Epstein said Tuesday at the press conference announcing the study results. "We have a whole year round calendar of programming with more than 200 events, and we see here the positive impact that COTA has on the Austin community."
Epstein also responded to criticism that the Texas should not cover the $25 million-plus franchise fee F1 charges to hold a race, using money from the state's Major Events Trust Fund. Epstein and Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell said the money is redistributing some of the tax receipts generated during the race — rather than drawing money out of the state budget — with the race generating $507 million in economic activity on its own.
Other numbers from the report:
- COTA has generated at least $100 million in economic activity for every fiscal quarter since its opening
- The track has led to the creation of more than 9,000 jobs in the area
- Austin has benefited from $185 million worth of publicity since COTA opened for business
- The total economic impact of the construction of the track was more than $900 million, including construction.