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#51 AustinF1

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 20:45

COTA GM/Senior VP Mel Harder OUT. Position eliminated:  http://www.superbike...f8e9oZA.twitter



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#52 AustinF1

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 03:22

Negotiations fall through in potential COTA sale: http://www.motorspor...tial-cota-deal/



#53 AustinF1

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 13:12

US GP to offer ‘flexi-ticket’ to race attendees

 

http://formulaspy.com/?p=16907

 

 In the article Noble describes this concept as 'radical' and 'new'. Anyone know how it's so different? Sounds like it might be pretty much like Montreal's trio package or Melbourne's multiple GS package that I and others said they should offer back in 2012. Maybe I'm missing it. What's new and radical?

 

ETA: I think I've heard Silverstone has done this for a while as well. Can anyone confirm?


Edited by AustinF1, 24 July 2015 - 13:21.


#54 Jon83

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 13:42

Seems like a good idea.

 

I'm hoping to go to next year's race but doubt I'll deviate from the plan of buying a simple GA ticket, but this is slightly tempting.



#55 GreenMachine

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 14:01

Last time I paid for grandstand seats at Melbourne, they had this, but better - you bought your GS ticket for where you wanted for race day, and then could sit/roam anywhere on the other days.  If a seat was vacant, you could use it.  Was around for a few years before that.  I haven't been for a few years, so I don't know if it still works that way. 

 

The other thing is that you can roam the Melbourne GA areas on raceday too if you have a grandstand ticket - I was appalled at Magny Cours in 07 to find my stand seat wouldn't get me into GA, but where there is a will there is a way, and I got in with some help from some English campers.

 

It certainly makes a grandstand seat more attractive, and more saleable, for me anyway.



#56 chadwick8505

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 14:04

I think it's just new and radical because they've only just now started doing it at COTA. They trialled it for MotoGP and it seemed to work, they'll run it for WEC and then F1.



#57 63Corvette

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 15:14

I have attended the GP as a spectator and bought grandstand seats but that experience lead me to go the next time with only a General Admission ticket because you can and should move around the track and some of the best views of the action are from the berm surrounding some of the turns (11). That said, Aguably the "best" GA site (at least for the start) is the outside of turn 1, BUT I have seen fist fights over view blocking there and the crowd at the start is so dense that you could pick your feet up and not fall down. The high dollar "sky box" type of pavillion seating with liveried champaign waiters is the best way to go IF you can afford it, or know somepne who can. But the "BEST" seats at CoTA are in your own racecar on the track. I have raced there twice and have several hundred laps in different very fast cars doing "track days" there. I will be racing there again with SVRA in November. I recommend it!!!. The best spectator viewing is at turn 15 which is a technical section, and the slowest point on the track. Points of interest Beer is $8/glass, and a very large expense is parking which was $200/car for the GP (no limit on the number of people in the car).



#58 Exb

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 15:26

US GP to offer ‘flexi-ticket’ to race attendees

 

http://formulaspy.com/?p=16907

 

 In the article Noble describes this concept as 'radical' and 'new'. Anyone know how it's so different? Sounds like it might be pretty much like Montreal's trio package or Melbourne's multiple GS package that I and others said they should offer back in 2012. Maybe I'm missing it. What's new and radical?

 

ETA: I think I've heard Silverstone has done this for a while as well. Can anyone confirm?

Silverstone definitely have that - On Friday even general admission tickets will get you in a grandstand, and on Saturday it is a roaming grandstand ticket (so any grandstand, apart from a couple of premium ones). Only Sunday has specific seats in named GS. At least Monza and Barcelona are the same with Friday having the GS open for GA tickets.



#59 AustinF1

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 18:27

I think it's just new and radical because they've only just now started doing it at COTA. They trialled it for MotoGP and it seemed to work, they'll run it for WEC and then F1.

LOL yeah. Anytime COTA rolls something out they seem to think they've invented the wheel, never mind how long it's really been around or how long people have been telling them they should do it.



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#60 TimRTC

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 18:32

I think it's just new and radical because they've only just now started doing it at COTA. They trialled it for MotoGP and it seemed to work, they'll run it for WEC and then F1.

 

Good for the FIAWEC weekend particularly, it was really silly last year that you couldn't roam in the grandstands, despite them all being a single price. Fortunately some never seemed to have security checking tickets and when that rainstorm hit, the security all went for cover anyway!

 

Didn't help that my front row reserved seats in the home straight grandstand were crawling in cockroaches and tremendously unpleasant to sit in. I hope they bug spray them for the F1 weekend!



#61 GreenMachine

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 22:16

... a very large expense is parking which was $200/car for the GP (no limit on the number of people in the car).

:eek:  :eek:

 

 



#62 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 00:41

Maybe I'm just not finding it on their site, but do they have accommodations for motorcoaches/RV camping?



#63 AustinF1

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 02:39

aybe I'm just not finding it on their site, but do they have accommodations for motorcoaches/RV camping?

 

Yes, they have very expensive ones (price not listed) along the back straight between T11 and 12, and less expensive ones ($400) above the esses in Lot N, not really in a position for race viewing. 

 

general_cota_map.jpg

 

 

I have attended the GP as a spectator and bought grandstand seats but that experience lead me to go the next time with only a General Admission ticket because you can and should move around the track and some of the best views of the action are from the berm surrounding some of the turns (11). That said, Aguably the "best" GA site (at least for the start) is the outside of turn 1, BUT I have seen fist fights over view blocking there and the crowd at the start is so dense that you could pick your feet up and not fall down. The high dollar "sky box" type of pavillion seating with liveried champaign waiters is the best way to go IF you can afford it, or know somepne who can. But the "BEST" seats at CoTA are in your own racecar on the track. I have raced there twice and have several hundred laps in different very fast cars doing "track days" there. I will be racing there again with SVRA in November. I recommend it!!!. The best spectator viewing is at turn 15 which is a technical section, and the slowest point on the track. Points of interest Beer is $8/glass, and a very large expense is parking which was $200/car for the GP (no limit on the number of people in the car).

I agree GA is generally the way to go at COTA. It's less of a good deal on F1 weekends though because of all the GSs in the way of what are normally very good sight lines. I also agree T1 is a good place to watch the start of the race, but it's not that great after that. Certainly not worth the hassle of dealing with the crowd there. On non-F1 weekends, GA is always the best deal by far because most of the best sight lines at the track are from GA areas and there are no F1 temporary GSs in place to block those views.

 

The esses are really a must-see at COTA,  esp with F1 or LMP cars.

 

They've reduced F1 seating capacity every year as attendance has also fallen each year, but the the stands they've removed haven't really helped sight lines much. Now it looks like they may be eliminating the T3 GS, so that will help GA viewing a good bit.

 

Driving the track is awesome fun, esp T1 - 11, and yes, there's the $8 beer & wine ($8 & up) & other assorted ridiculously priced concessions.. 

 

Parking = crazy. $200 for the weekend or $100 for Saturday or Sunday only.


Edited by AustinF1, 25 July 2015 - 03:01.


#64 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 04:32

Thanks, guess we won't be rolling out to that track. We have a tow vehicle so I guess off track would be best somewhere nearby, if we get it in next year.



#65 AustinF1

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 19:25

Thanks, guess we won't be rolling out to that track. We have a tow vehicle so I guess off track would be best somewhere nearby, if we get it in next year.

Yeah, like most everything else at COTA, anything decent is considered an upgrade, and they charge out the arse for it.



#66 Vettelari

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 03:49

There is such an OBVIOUS answer to all their financial troubles, but I cannot figure out why it would "never" work out. EVERY SINGLE YEAR the manufacturers in NASCAR BEG for the addition of more road races to their calender. The Cup series currently goes to the aging Watkins Glen and Sonoma, which leave a lot to be desired from the fans. The Xfinity series has attended multiple other road courses in the last few years. Canada, Mexico, Road Atlanta, Mid Ohio, etc. The truck series even recently added a dirt track to their scheule and it has become a MASSIVE hit.

 

Would COTA be a lot different than Watkins Glen and Sonoma? For sure. The cars would need a unique setup, but no more than the difference in setup between Bristol and Pocono. However, would they be able to sell nearly every ticket and luxury box to a race of this magnitude in the heart of FREAKING TEXAS? In my opinion, HELL YES!

 

As far as safety concerns, the long run offs would make it even safer than Watkins Glen and Sonoma without making any modifications to the track, IMO.

 

I realize that it was built with F1 in mind, but I would LOVE to watch the show NASCAR could put on at this track.

 

I am aware of several more hurdles that I have not mentioned, but if you balance the risk/reward, COTA should be doing everything in its power to convice Brian France to bring NASCAR racing to COTA. Trucks? Xfinity? Cup Series? SURE! Heck, bring all 3! This is America. Use the current major touring series to your advantage.

 

With the EXCESSIVE amount of empty seats at other races these days, why not give COTA a go? The schedule continues to include more and more 1.5 mile "cookie cutter" type tracks and quite a few are lucky to sell 60% of available seats. Add COTA and lets see what happens at what would be the most unique track on the entire calender.

 

It is one of those things that makes so much sense to me that I know there is almost zero chance it will ever happen.

 

Am I missing out on something obvious here?


Edited by Vettelari, 26 July 2015 - 03:53.


#67 AustinF1

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 03:57

There is such an OBVIOUS answer to all their financial troubles, but I cannot figure out why it would "never" work out. EVERY SINGLE YEAR the manufacturers in NASCAR BEG for the addition of more road races to their calender. The Cup series currently goes to the aging Watkins Glen and Sonoma, which leave a lot to be desired from the fans. The Xfinity series has attended multiple other road courses in the last few years. Canada, Mexico, Road Atlanta, Mid Ohio, etc. The truck series even recently added a dirt track to their scheule and it has become a MASSIVE hit.

 

Would COTA be a lot different than Watkins Glen and Sonoma? For sure. The cars would need a unique setup, but no more than the difference in setup between Bristol and Pocono. However, would they be able to sell nearly every ticket and luxury box to a race of this magnitude in the heart of FREAKING TEXAS? In my opinion, HELL YES!

 

As far as safety concerns, the long run offs would make it even safer than Watkins Glen and Sonoma without making any modifications to the track, IMO.

 

I realize that it was built with F1 in mind, but I would LOVE to watch the show NASCAR could put on at this track.

 

I am aware of several more hurdles that I have not mentioned, but if you balance the risk/reward, COTA should be doing everything in its power to convice Brian France to bring NASCAR racing to COTA. Trucks? Xfinity? Cup Series? SURE! Heck, bring all 3! This is America. Use the current major touring series to your advantage.

 

With the EXCESSIVE amount of empty seats at other races these days, why not give COTA a go? The schedule continues to include more and more 1.5 mile "cookie cutter" type tracks and quite a few are lucky to sell 60% of available seats. Add COTA and lets see what happens at what would be the most unique track on the entire calender.

 

It is one of those things that makes so much sense to me that I know there is almost zero chance it will ever happen.

 

Am I missing out on something obvious here?

One of the biggest problems is the same one that makes a visit from IndyCar unlikely --- the proximity to Texas Motor Speedway, only 200 miles to the north. Owner Bruton Smith and GM Eddie Gossage hold considerable influence in both series, and they have been vocal in their opposition of the idea of either series visiting COTA. 

 

I'm not a NASCAR oval fan, but I'd love to see them at COTA. I'm a fan of NASCAR on road courses or street courses like CGV. I am a little concerned, however, that COTA might not lend itself to the kind of raw racing action NASCAR has at those other tracks, due to the width of the track and the huge runoffs. The V8SC races there were pretty tame in comparison with their typical racing.


Edited by AustinF1, 26 July 2015 - 03:59.


#68 l8apex

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 04:34

One of the biggest problems is the same one that makes a visit from IndyCar unlikely --- the proximity to Texas Motor Speedway, only 200 miles to the north. Owner Bruton Smith and GM Eddie Gossage hold considerable influence in both series, and they have been vocal in their opposition of the idea of either series visiting COTA. 

 

I'm not a NASCAR oval fan, but I'd love to see them at COTA. I'm a fan of NASCAR on road courses or street courses like CGV. I am a little concerned, however, that COTA might not lend itself to the kind of raw racing action NASCAR has at those other tracks, due to the width of the track and the huge runoffs. The V8SC races there were pretty tame in comparison with their typical racing.

 

I'm pretty sure the V8 Supercars ran the castrated half track (I was there).  If they ran the full track there would have been a ton more passing and things would have been much better.

 

I would welcome a NASCAR race on the full track at COTA and would attend happily attend the race if they don't go full ****** on ticket prices.



#69 AustinF1

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 20:04

Hmm...Rumor has it Elton John will perform during the USGP weekend at COTA.


Edited by AustinF1, 02 August 2015 - 20:07.


#70 AustinF1

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 20:12

I'm pretty sure the V8 Supercars ran the castrated half track (I was there).  If they ran the full track there would have been a ton more passing and things would have been much better.

 

I would welcome a NASCAR race on the full track at COTA and would attend happily attend the race if they don't go full ****** on ticket prices.

Yeah, I was there too. Crazy hot weekend ... and no shade to be found.

 

I agree running the full track would have been better, but I'm not sure it would make for the kind of V8SC action we're used to seeing in the closer confines of the typical tracks they run. We saw them run off track several times during the weekend, only to rejoin after losing a position, especially along the esses. There's just a whole lot of room out there. It's a very unforgiving track in terms of mistakes killing your lap time, but it's very forgiving in terms of mistakes not ending your race, or in terms of lots of room not forcing the tight action we usually see in V8SC. 


Edited by AustinF1, 02 August 2015 - 22:19.


#71 AustinF1

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 17:21

And COTA has made it official today...

 

https://www.facebook...?type=1

 

11794139_1176296772396661_45018617575201



#72 AustinF1

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 17:43

These guys are so funny, too. Yesterday after we broke the news, they went on their Facebook page and told everyone they had a big announcement coming today about the feature performer at the race, & asked everyone who they thought it would be. Vance posted the corrrect answer, twice. They deleted his posts both times.



#73 AustinF1

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 16:10

LOL. Now I'm hearing the USGP EltonJohn performance will happen way out at Turn 11. Be sure to bring your best walking shoes!!  That's a serious hike.



#74 AustinF1

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 16:45

The good news for Elton John fans who don't wanna deal so much with the race is that they can always watch him from Haywood's Hill...



#75 AustinF1

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 18:32

OBTW, it looks like they're eliminating not only T3, but the T11 GS as well. In 2012 there were 9 temporary GSs (T2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11E, and 11W (2)). 6 of of those are now gone (2, 3, 6, 11E, and 11W). Only 4, 5, and 9 look set to remain. Not good.


Edited by AustinF1, 05 August 2015 - 04:04.


#76 JasonSw

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 18:42

OBTW, it looks like they're eliminating not only T3, but the T11 GS as well. In 2012 there were 9 temporary GSs (T2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11E, and 11W (2)). 6 of of those are now gone (2, 3, 6, 11E, and 11W). Not good.

 

Will be interesting to see the attendance figures this year. I suspect that removing temporary grandstands to increase the amount of the cheaper GA tickets is behind this. If I remember correctly in year 1, there were only a limited amount of GA tickets available, and they were by far the quickest to sell.

 

There has been a regular fall off in attendance from 2012 - (265,499) to 2013 - (250,325) and 2014 - (237,406) but this is normal when a new venue comes on the calendar and the numbers are still pretty impressive when you consider in 2013 and 2014 the USGP was competing against other major sporting events in the area.

 

I am saddened by a lot of the local coverage about this venue though, so many people using it as a political football rather than seeing the massive benefit it is for the local area. Certainly from the amount of money the hotels charge the whole state of Texas should be swimming in cash!



#77 AustinF1

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 19:09

Will be interesting to see the attendance figures this year. I suspect that removing temporary grandstands to increase the amount of the cheaper GA tickets is behind this. If I remember correctly in year 1, there were only a limited amount of GA tickets available, and they were by far the quickest to sell.

 

There has been a regular fall off in attendance from 2012 - (265,499) to 2013 - (250,325) and 2014 - (237,406) but this is normal when a new venue comes on the calendar and the numbers are still pretty impressive when you consider in 2013 and 2014 the USGP was competing against other major sporting events in the area.

 

I am saddened by a lot of the local coverage about this venue though, so many people using it as a political football rather than seeing the massive benefit it is for the local area. Certainly from the amount of money the hotels charge the whole state of Texas should be swimming in cash!

Hi again Jason!

 

COTA has received about $100M in subsidies from the State of Texas in just 3 years, so they should expect the kind of scrutiny that comes along with receiving that kind of money from the taxpayers of the state. Actually though, the scrutiny has been astonishingly light, imho, esp considering the lack of transparency in the process, and the fact that actual performance never measures up to the projections on which the METF subsidies are based. Basically, aside from a San Antonio Express News series of investigative articles, there has been no scrutiny at all from anyone who matters ... including local news outlets (astonishingly).

 

No doubt it benefits the state, but the magnitude of that benefit has been insanely exaggerated imho, in attempts to justify the massive subsidy.

 

As for the attendance figures, sure, they'll be interesting, but I don't have much faith in their accuracy. Zero faith, actually.

 

 

Re: eliminating GSs to somehow attract more GA fans, that's what they've said each year, but it doesn't seem to be what's happening. I'm not sure how removing one option is supposed to increase GA ticket sales anyway. There's never been any shortage of room for GA fans and the GA crowd has basically remained the same. What is happening is that they annually reduce the amount of GS seating and then still don't sell it all. They're removing GSs every year because they can't/don't fill them, imho.


Edited by AustinF1, 04 August 2015 - 19:38.


#78 JasonSw

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 19:23

They are essentially making more of the cheaper tickets available, I would say that is good, wouldn't you?

 

Would you say that the state has benefited from having the F1 race there? Does the local tax and increase in visitors outweigh the state subsidies? I am genuinely curious, only visiting once a year makes it difficult to tell or get any real sense of the impact the race has.



#79 AustinF1

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 19:27

It would be good, I guess, if it were true. In 2012 they capped GA tickets arbitrarily at 40K. There was still plenty of room for 10s, maybe even 100s of thousands more people in the GA areas. At the time they capped that, their GS sales were slow, so the general feeling was that they only capped it as a way to push fans to GSs to shore up those sales. There hasn't been a cap since then, so it's not like they're actually "freeing up" anything by reducing GS capacity.

 

Yes, I'd say the state has benefited.  However, does that justify $30-35M in annual subsidies? No, I don't think so. They're getting big subsidies for every major event out there, even races that draw very poorly, like PWC, WEC/Tudor, etc. 


Edited by AustinF1, 04 August 2015 - 19:29.


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#80 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 19:30

I think the government contribution is about 25million? Let's run with that figure because it makes the math(s) easier, and use your attendance figures to round it off to 250,000 bodies. But that's problematic because I assume that's weekend attendance, there aren't 250k individuals.

 

But if there were, you need what, $100 in money spent to break even? But how do we count that money? Does it have to be money that goes back to the government in sales tax? Or money spent in the local economy. I mean the actual local economy, not buying a Coke and having that money end up back in Atlanta/St Louis



#81 jyzz

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 19:31

I am more of a pessimist and think the shrinking Euro and Canadian currency, combined with new Mexico F1 venue will pull a significant crowd away from this year's COTA

 

 

Will be interesting to see the attendance figures this year. I suspect that removing temporary grandstands to increase the amount of the cheaper GA tickets is behind this. If I remember correctly in year 1, there were only a limited amount of GA tickets available, and they were by far the quickest to sell.

 

There has been a regular fall off in attendance from 2012 - (265,499) to 2013 - (250,325) and 2014 - (237,406) but this is normal when a new venue comes on the calendar and the numbers are still pretty impressive when you consider in 2013 and 2014 the USGP was competing against other major sporting events in the area.

 



#82 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 19:31

btw the absolute worst/most hysterical one I ever saw, was a claim the the America's Cup was going to benefit the SF bay area to the tune of a *billion* dollars.



#83 AustinF1

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 19:32

I think the government contribution is about 25million? Let's run with that figure because it makes the math(s) easier, and use your attendance figures to round it off to 250,000 bodies. But that's problematic because I assume that's weekend attendance, there aren't 250k individuals.

 

But if there were, you need what, $100 in money spent to break even? But how do we count that money? Does it have to be money that goes back to the government in sales tax? Or money spent in the local economy. I mean the actual local economy, not buying a Coke and having that money end up back in Atlanta/St Louis

Yep, the govt subsidy for F1 alone is about $25M, but they recieve similar, smaller subsidies for every race, and other events like X Games.

 

As for the criteria of tax moneys increased that are used to justify the subsidy ..  it's all about money that's brought into Texas from outside the state, not the total amount of money spent in the area ... but they trumpet the full amount.  This is one way they confuse people into thinking they deserve the subsidy. 


Edited by AustinF1, 04 August 2015 - 19:35.


#84 AustinF1

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 19:36

btw the absolute worst/most hysterical one I ever saw, was a claim the the America's Cup was going to benefit the SF bay area to the tune of a *billion* dollars.

That's hysterical. The most recent claim from COTA that I can remember is around $500M --- ANNUALLY. Which is ... I have no words ...



#85 JasonSw

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 19:38

Yep, the govt subsidy for F1 alone is about $25M, but they recieve similar, smaller subsidies for every race, and other events like X Games.

 

Thanks for the info. If you consider that the teams, media and support staff for the event staying in hotels are subject to a 5 night minimum booking at $500 a night for even the most basic of hotels we might just be covering the subsidy! Only joking but we are used to it at pretty much every race but Austin really tried to fleece us all on hotels in year 1 and it hasn't got much better.

 

Wasn't the subsidy part of a fund that was set up to bring major events to Austin? So that money was already ring-fenced in the budget?

 

What do you think the solution is? Could the circuit do more to promote? I know the sport could do more to promote every event to be honest!



#86 AustinF1

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 19:44

Thanks for the info. If you consider that the teams, media and support staff for the event staying in hotels are subject to a 5 night minimum booking at $500 a night for even the most basic of hotels we might just be covering the subsidy! Only joking but we are used to it at pretty much every race but Austin really tried to fleece us all on hotels in year 1 and it hasn't got much better.

 

Wasn't the subsidy part of a fund that was set up to bring major events to Austin? So that money was already ring-fenced in the budget?

 

What do you think the solution is? Could the circuit do more to promote? I know the sport could do more to promote every event to be honest!

Yes, the subsidy is designed to help bring NEW events to the state (in hopes of bringing visitors and their money from outside the state). That opens another can of worms, imho. There's a 10-year contract for this race, so I don't really understand how they qualify for annual payments from this fund after year 1. The race has already been secured. There's no pile of money dedicated to this subsidy. It has never before been tapped annually in such huge amounts. It's all based on (suspiciously optimistic imho) economic impact projections prior to the races.

 

Re: Solutions...I don't know what can be done. It seems pretty far gone imho. Promotion has been woeful, but I doubt any amount of promotion would be enough at this point. 


Edited by AustinF1, 04 August 2015 - 19:50.


#87 Watkins74

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 21:00

It's because economists don't count the money one time. When you order dinner in Austin if you are only there for the race, first the restaurant makes money, perhaps additional staff get extra money that they go spend, the food supplier makes more money, the beverage supplier makes more money, perhaps overtime for the police that they spend. Economists have a formula they use for the domino effect of an initial dollar spent.

 

Money doesn't stop. It churns. The churn rate is the variable.



#88 loki

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 21:05

Yes, the subsidy is designed to help bring NEW events to the state (in hopes of bringing visitors and their money from outside the state). That opens another can of worms, imho. There's a 10-year contract for this race, so I don't really understand how they qualify for annual payments from this fund after year 1. The race has already been secured. There's no pile of money dedicated to this subsidy. It has never before been tapped annually in such huge amounts. It's all based on (suspiciously optimistic imho) economic impact projections prior to the races.

 

Re: Solutions...I don't know what can be done. It seems pretty far gone imho. Promotion has been woeful, but I doubt any amount of promotion would be enough at this point. 

The solution is if the locals don't like it to vote different people into office and not promote the state in this manner.  From what I've seen the track has had the most srutiny, by far, of any of the METF events in the state.  The Super Bowl received very little, almost no scrutiny inspite of the fact there is ample data for years now that as a whole the costs outweigh the overall financial gains.  The economic impact predictions for any of those events are pretty generous and in many if not most cases count so called "pass through" revenue, IOW, revenue that isn't offset or gains that may have been there regardless.  That's not specific to COTA or even TX in general.

 

Those aren't revenue negative funds the track receives.  There is additional revenue that offsets and calling it a subsidy is disingenuous.  If enough people don't think it's a good deal come up with alternative data and lobby the government and prove the point.  The issues with the deal structure and transparency aren't to do with COTA as much as that is what the state is allowing to happen.  Placing the bulk of the blame on COTA while not holding the elected officials accountable for the decision is short sighted.  What they are doing is legal under TX law and they are lobbying to get the full benefit of what is a legally provided funding mechanism.  Just like Jerry Jones does.  In fact I'd say Jerry Jones has benefited more from state funding, tax credits and givebacks than COTA and there is far more data to support the a subsidised NFL team (or any major sports team supported with public revenue) cost the local municpality and/or state than can be recouped over the life of the contract.



#89 loki

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 21:11

It's because economists don't count the money one time. When you order dinner in Austin if you are only there for the race, first the restaurant makes money, perhaps additional staff get extra money that they go spend, the food supplier makes more money, the beverage supplier makes more money, perhaps overtime for the police that they spend. Economists have a formula they use for the domino effect of an initial dollar spent.

 

Money doesn't stop. It churns. The churn rate is the variable.

They do but those pass through numbers are difficult to verify.  A non trivial amount of the revenue generated would have been generated regardless of any event.  In a place like Vegas where we basically "wrote the book" on using sales tax revenue to support local events it's easier because the resort corridor and downtown exist specifically for tourism.  While tourism is big in TX, it's not got the same concentration as Vegas or Orlando where it's pretty much designed first and foremost to attract visitors from outside the area.  Ours is also different that we use a tax specific to hotels, gate fees and car rental that are targeted toward visitors.  TX uses general sales tax revenue and that can be more difficult to calculate.  Looking over the years they can average the differences between what is new and what might be normal but in a place like Austin where growth is now at a rocket pace it's more difficult to gauge if the pass through is from the event or the natural growth in the area.



#90 AustinF1

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 02:14

It's because economists don't count the money one time. When you order dinner in Austin if you are only there for the race, first the restaurant makes money, perhaps additional staff get extra money that they go spend, the food supplier makes more money, the beverage supplier makes more money, perhaps overtime for the police that they spend. Economists have a formula they use for the domino effect of an initial dollar spent.

 

Money doesn't stop. It churns. The churn rate is the variable.

Yeah, I get that, but when you look at the economic impact projections set forth by other very prominent GPs, like Singapore, Oz, and others, they're but a fraction (like 20% or so) of the USGP's projections, often with greater attendance. That seems ... odd.



#91 AustinF1

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 02:17

They do but those pass through numbers are difficult to verify.  A non trivial amount of the revenue generated would have been generated regardless of any event.  In a place like Vegas where we basically "wrote the book" on using sales tax revenue to support local events it's easier because the resort corridor and downtown exist specifically for tourism.  While tourism is big in TX, it's not got the same concentration as Vegas or Orlando where it's pretty much designed first and foremost to attract visitors from outside the area.  Ours is also different that we use a tax specific to hotels, gate fees and car rental that are targeted toward visitors.  TX uses general sales tax revenue and that can be more difficult to calculate.  Looking over the years they can average the differences between what is new and what might be normal but in a place like Austin where growth is now at a rocket pace it's more difficult to gauge if the pass through is from the event or the natural growth in the area.

...or from other events happening in the area simultaneous with COTA events, which has been the case for the majority of large events at COTA. I do not believe this is by chance, but is specifically, strategically planned as a way to hide or obscure COTA's true impact on the area during its events.



#92 AustinF1

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 02:35

The solution is if the locals don't like it to vote different people into office and not promote the state in this manner.  From what I've seen the track has had the most srutiny, by far, of any of the METF events in the state.  The Super Bowl received very little, almost no scrutiny inspite of the fact there is ample data for years now that as a whole the costs outweigh the overall financial gains.  The economic impact predictions for any of those events are pretty generous and in many if not most cases count so called "pass through" revenue, IOW, revenue that isn't offset or gains that may have been there regardless.  That's not specific to COTA or even TX in general.

 

Those aren't revenue negative funds the track receives.  There is additional revenue that offsets and calling it a subsidy is disingenuous.  If enough people don't think it's a good deal come up with alternative data and lobby the government and prove the point.  The issues with the deal structure and transparency aren't to do with COTA as much as that is what the state is allowing to happen.  Placing the bulk of the blame on COTA while not holding the elected officials accountable for the decision is short sighted.  What they are doing is legal under TX law and they are lobbying to get the full benefit of what is a legally provided funding mechanism.  Just like Jerry Jones does.  In fact I'd say Jerry Jones has benefited more from state funding, tax credits and givebacks than COTA and there is far more data to support the a subsidised NFL team (or any major sports team supported with public revenue) cost the local municpality and/or state than can be recouped over the life of the contract.

- I do attempt to vote out people who support this kind of waste. But I and like-minded folks can't do it on our own. Most people around here couldn't give two shits about COTA, its events, their attendance numbers, how they're subsidized by the state, etc. They simply aren't even aware of what's going on. If they were, I believe they'd be up in arms over it. They've gone ballistic over similar scandals involving much less money. I'm not opposed to programs like the METF in principal. Like I said early on, the program is there, so they'd be crazy not to use it if eligible. I'm opposed to the continued abuse of these programs, and not just by COTA. I do believe that's what is happening in this case. What they're doing may be legal. I believe, however, that they may doing some things that aren't, but we won't know either way because there's no oversight.

 

- COTA has had more scrutiny than other events subsidized by the METF, but it should be scrutinized. It's the first event to raid the fund for tens of millions of dollars and then come back every year for more. 

 

- How do we prove the point or come up with alternative data if nobody will look at the books, audit actual attendance records, etc, and when the state comptroller cites COTA as their source for all the pertinent numbers. The state is complicit, absolutely, but that doesn't absolve COTA for taking advantage of that lenient system with no checks and balances.

 

- The lack of scrutiny of the Super Bowl or the Cowboys' numerous subsidies is not justification for COTA's lack of scrutiny. It's just another indication of a state program running wild with little oversight. Two wrongs don't make a right.

 

- I agree that projections like these are often extremely optimistic, yet we still see COTA's projections 3x, 4x, even 5x as high other prominent F1-race-sponsored economic projections. 

 

- Calling it a subsidy is not disingenuous. If they weren't participating in the METF and receiving the subsidy, that money would end up in the general fund to be controlled by the legislature and put away or spent on any number of things.



#93 loki

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 02:45

Yeah, I get that, but when you look at the economic impact projections set forth by other very prominent GPs, like Singapore, Oz, and others, they're but a fraction (like 20% or so) of the USGP's projections, often with greater attendance. That seems ... odd.

Comparing across markets particularly larger, more economically diverse cities isn't a good comparison.   You have to do it within like markets.

 

...or from other events happening in the area simultaneous with COTA events, which has been the case for the majority of large events at COTA. I do not believe this is by chance, but is specifically, strategically planned as a way to hide or obscure COTA's true impact on the area during its events.

Your tin foil is a bit tight on this one, chap.  Events like F1 and XGames are contingent on many things and it's not likely that the scheduling could be positioned in such a way for the sole purpose of manipulating the tracks impact.  I think suppositions such as that tank your argument.  It's all and well you don't think there is a good value in allowing the track the MTEF but you've offered nothing to substanitate your position.  Flat earth type assumptions and "I don't think so" arguments are subjective at best and even then have thin (or unsupported) claims to reinforce that opinion.   Your argument falls short because you've provided nothing but your gut to support you position.



#94 AustinF1

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 03:17

Comparing across markets particularly larger, more economically diverse cities isn't a good comparison.   You have to do it within like markets.

 

Your tin foil is a bit tight on this one, chap.  Events like F1 and XGames are contingent on many things and it's not likely that the scheduling could be positioned in such a way for the sole purpose of manipulating the tracks impact.  I think suppositions such as that tank your argument.  It's all and well you don't think there is a good value in allowing the track the MTEF but you've offered nothing to substanitate your position.  Flat earth type assumptions and "I don't think so" arguments are subjective at best and even then have thin (or unsupported) claims to reinforce that opinion.   Your argument falls short because you've provided nothing but your gut to support you position.

- I realize scheduling is quite complex (see other threads about scheduling where I go into many of the factors that must be considered). But I'm not just talking about F1. However, as an example, COTA specifically requested the Halloween date last year. There's no way the crowd downtown in Austin will ever look bad on a Halloween weekend. Everyone here knows that. Visitors don't know that though. One or two other GPs here have gone up against Texas football home games. It's in Bernie's best interest to try to work requests like these in, because they affect his chances of getting paid.

- Look at what I've said. I didn't say COTA offers no value to the METF. I didn't offer anything to substantiate that position ... because that's not my position. I think if you read carefully, you'd know that. I've said I'm opposed to the repeated and continued abuse of the METF stemming from a blatant lack of oversight.

- What have I said that's a flat-earth argument? Why does it always have to go down a road of insults with you? I haven't really given this stuff much thought in the last year or two, but I followed the METF approval process intensely since day one and participated in it as well. I helped rally support specifically for COTA to get the city's endorsement needed to become eligible for the program. I worked for specific candidates whose votes COTA felt it needed for approval (at COTA's direct request). I stood and testified before the city council in favor of it, back before it became clear that many of the promises made by COTA to the city would never be kept by the new regime, and before it became obvious that they'd make gross exaggerations to justify the subsidies. What's really amazing is that even with about $100M already paid to COTA from the state, they still can't make money. Maybe Elton can help with that. 

 

But anyway...


Edited by AustinF1, 05 August 2015 - 04:13.


#95 loki

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 05:06

 

- What have I said that's a flat-earth argument? Why does it always have to go down a road of insults with you? I haven't really given this stuff much thought in the last year or two, but I followed the METF approval process intensely since day one and participated in it as well. I helped rally support specifically for COTA to get the city's endorsement needed to become eligible for the program. I worked for specific candidates whose votes COTA felt it needed for approval (at COTA's direct request). I stood and testified before the city council in favor of it, back before it became clear that many of the promises made by COTA to the city would never be kept by the new regime, and before it became obvious that they'd make gross exaggerations to justify the subsidies. What's really amazing is that even with about $100M already paid to COTA from the state, they still can't make money. Maybe Elton can help with that. 

 

 

If you are insulted by my characterization of your arguments perhaps you should consider changing them.  It's not plausible to consider that COTA is intentionally trying to manipulate the dates.  You stated it was more than F1.  Perhaps they asked for a Halloween date because they thought it would be good for business.  Halloween is Austin isn't going to generate anywhere near the revenue of an F1 event.    It seems to me that your bias against the track comes from your personal feelings toward them including how unceremoniously they disposed of Hellmund.

 

They don't make money because they have a heavily leveraged facility that had significant over runs in which a great deal of the design was only needed for a single event whose profitability was questionable from the beginning.  They could have made a facility that did not have to comply with FOM or FIA regs for a Grade 1 circuit.  They would still be able to do everything except have the F1 event with a reduced building cost and not the time crunch (however self imposed) that caused the over runs.  Promoting an F1 event, particularly with a new, purpose built facility is a poor investment under the current climate. Being in near Dallas where there are a few high profile motorsport events where SMI has a lock on NASCAR and the NHRA for drags and it makes it a tougher market for motorsport. At this point perhaps a wiser investment would have been in a motorsport country club type facility with a venue.  Wilson instead of Tilke, not near the hospitality requirements FOM require and a garage and main grandstand area more appropriate for the other events there.



#96 Watkins74

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 14:35

 It seems to me that your bias against the track comes from your personal feelings toward them including how unceremoniously they disposed of Hellmund.

 

 

 

BINGO!



#97 AustinF1

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 15:28

If you are insulted by my characterization of your arguments perhaps you should consider changing them.  It's not plausible to consider that COTA is intentionally trying to manipulate the dates.  You stated it was more than F1.  Perhaps they asked for a Halloween date because they thought it would be good for business.  Halloween is Austin isn't going to generate anywhere near the revenue of an F1 event.    It seems to me that your bias against the track comes from your personal feelings toward them including how unceremoniously they disposed of Hellmund.

 

They don't make money because they have a heavily leveraged facility that had significant over runs in which a great deal of the design was only needed for a single event whose profitability was questionable from the beginning.  They could have made a facility that did not have to comply with FOM or FIA regs for a Grade 1 circuit.  They would still be able to do everything except have the F1 event with a reduced building cost and not the time crunch (however self imposed) that caused the over runs.  Promoting an F1 event, particularly with a new, purpose built facility is a poor investment under the current climate. Being in near Dallas where there are a few high profile motorsport events where SMI has a lock on NASCAR and the NHRA for drags and it makes it a tougher market for motorsport. At this point perhaps a wiser investment would have been in a motorsport country club type facility with a venue.  Wilson instead of Tilke, not near the hospitality requirements FOM require and a garage and main grandstand area more appropriate for the other events there.

I'm not really making an argument, per se. I was responding to Jason's questions, but this is the usual nonsense from you. Someone disagrees with you, you take them to task over it, then end up resorting to subtle or not-so-subtle digs and insults when they don't bow to your way of thinking. I don't know why it has to be that way, but that's the way it always ends up with you. You disagree with me, often, but I don't resort to such ridiculousness. Civil people can disagree without resorting to namecalling or the like. Almost every time I disagree with you, it ends up with you making ugly remarks. Oh well, c'est la vie, I guess.

 

It's not plausible to consider that COTA is trying to get certain dates? Even though COTA specifically asked for and got the Halloween date last year? OK.Of course they thought it would be good for business, in more ways than one, but saying out of hand that it's not plausible they did it, at least in part, to cover their asses is nonsense. Do you think they did it? No. Is it plausible? Certainly. I never said Halloween will generate what an F1 event will, but I'm not so sure that it won't at least come close. Have you ever been to Austin on Halloween, esp when it falls on a weekend? At the very least it brings tens of thousands of people downtown for one or two night, at least as many as Fan Fest does.

 

I'm not sure how Hellmund has anything to do with this. His ouster is a different topic entirely. I definitely did not like the way he was run out of the project, but that doesn't drive my dislike of the lack of oversight of METF usage. That dislike applies to every entity that has abused the fund, large or small (like the horse show fiasco). It doesn't drive my critique of the way they run (or don't run) the place, or my concerns about the race experience or the long term future of the venue. Those concerns are the concerns of a race fan who would like to see the venue remain operational for the long term, and as a taxpayer who doesn't want to see the state pouring literally hundreds of millions of $$ into what is starting to look a lot like a black hole.  I want people to come to Austin, enjoy themselves, and start planning their return. I'm proud of my hometown and I want others to be able to enjoy it like I have for 38 years.



#98 FerrariFanInTexas

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 17:58

The solution is if the locals don't like it to vote different people into office and not promote the state in this manner.  From what I've seen the track has had the most srutiny, by far, of any of the METF events in the state.  The Super Bowl received very little, almost no scrutiny inspite of the fact there is ample data for years now that as a whole the costs outweigh the overall financial gains.  The economic impact predictions for any of those events are pretty generous and in many if not most cases count so called "pass through" revenue, IOW, revenue that isn't offset or gains that may have been there regardless.  That's not specific to COTA or even TX in general.

 

Those aren't revenue negative funds the track receives.  There is additional revenue that offsets and calling it a subsidy is disingenuous.  If enough people don't think it's a good deal come up with alternative data and lobby the government and prove the point.  The issues with the deal structure and transparency aren't to do with COTA as much as that is what the state is allowing to happen.  Placing the bulk of the blame on COTA while not holding the elected officials accountable for the decision is short sighted.  What they are doing is legal under TX law and they are lobbying to get the full benefit of what is a legally provided funding mechanism.  Just like Jerry Jones does.  In fact I'd say Jerry Jones has benefited more from state funding, tax credits and givebacks than COTA and there is far more data to support the a subsidised NFL team (or any major sports team supported with public revenue) cost the local municpality and/or state than can be recouped over the life of the contract.

 

Remember that Arlington ponied up $300M to condemn the land necessary for Jerry World to be built.  In fact, that very year the Legislature changed the law of eminent domain in Texas to prevent cities from using condemnation power to benefit a private sector third-party.  But the Legislature inserted a provision specifically designed to allow Arlington to complete its eminent domain process on behalf of Jerry.  That's a real abuse of political power.



#99 AustinF1

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 19:11

In other news, if any of you are interested in driving COTA, I just got an email about an upcoming Edge Addicts track event.

 

http://shop.edgeaddicts.com/

 

I think I might do this one.


Edited by AustinF1, 05 August 2015 - 19:15.


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#100 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 19:25

btw the absolute worst/most hysterical one I ever saw, was a claim the the America's Cup was going to benefit the SF bay area to the tune of a *billion* dollars.

 

http://cssrc.us/cont...omic-boon-wasnt