Documents say Austin F1 track will cost $180m to build

The Austin F1 track will cost $180m to build, according to documents given to the Statesman newspaper.

An apparent battle of wits between the local media and promoter Tavo Hellmund continued when the newpaper requested information on the project. Despite them being marked “Confidential” and copyrighted to Hellmund;s company, they were released by City Hall after the attorney general decreed that they were not exempted under the Texas Public Information Act.

The actual building of the track is being funded privately, and thus in theory the number is not of any great relevance to the taxpayer. Of more interest perhaps is the claim that the race will have a $300m annual impact on the Austin area. In theory the $25m granted by the government to help offset running costs will be funded by sales tax.

Aside from quoting the cost of building the track, the documents contend that the project will require 1500 construction workers, and that 1200 people will be employed over the Grand Prix weekend. There will also be 40 full time employees at the venue.

Other activities expected to keep the track busy for up to 250 days a year include testing, alternative fuel research (as previously outlined here), driving schools, police training, music concerts and “high-end auctions.” There is also mention of NASCAR and drag racing events.

15 Comments

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15 responses to “Documents say Austin F1 track will cost $180m to build

  1. Alan

    Given that it’s America, do you think NASCAR could end up being more of a money-spinner than F1 for the track?

  2. Adam,

    I question the premise of a $300 million impact on a city. Time and again, those who study these things say that civic leaders over-estimate the anticipated revenue (usually to convince a skeptical taxpaying public). Many times these are “pie in the sky” or best-case scenarios that rarely pan out.

    @Alan: Nascar only does two road course events per year and there is no indication of expanding, particularly in a market that already has an oval raced (Texas Motor Speedway). There is no demand for Nascar to add more road events, and there have been suggestions that perhaps having two is already more than enough.

  3. Steven - USA

    Mr. Bloom – you think NASCAR is the Sprint Cup series. NASCAR has other series that could race there.

  4. Noahracer

    This GP will never, ever happen.
    All smoke and mirrors, just like USF1 only on a much larger scale.
    Bernie better try to get the LBGP back if he wants to race in America.

  5. jim cryan

    hope they can get it done on time Noahracer
    it will be done .
    and hope they can get ama or even amls race

  6. Don Davis

    NASCAR would be dragged kicking and screaming “NO!” to another road course. The AMA would probably love the addition of a really quality venue for the bikes. In reality, no one will have to worry about filling dates, as the track, if it actually gets built, will become a weed covered eyesore within a few years. Once Ecclestone extracts enough cash from the whole deal, off F1 goes to another cookiecutter track in “Buttcrackistan” …..

  7. CTP

    Well, sales tax in Austin is 8.25%, so $25M on $300M sales adds up!

  8. Robo

    He mentioned drag racing. So build a world class drag strip and get the NHRA in and you will fill the stands. Has anyone been to the race in Dallas or Houston? Three day weekend standing room only.

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