AUSTIN (KXAN) - The City of Austin is calling the first U.S. Formula One Grand Prix weekend a success.
A new 67-page report breaks down the event by expenses, revenues and lessons learned during last November's race weekend that put Austin, Texas on the international stage.
The report hits every yardstick from economic benefit, to lessons learned for emergency services, to the quality of bicycle routes to the track.
For example, three-day bicycle traffic to the Circuit of the Americas facility totaled 1,153 riders.
The report notes the city only had 11 months to pull the event together, including building the track and grandstand facilities, to solving logistical problems on how to get more than 100,000 people around town and to the event . Transportation issues that included arriving by car, limousine, shuttle bus and helicopter.
There were 2,546 helicopter trips during the event, accompanied by 144 helicopter noise complaints.
On an economic level, the report says the Grand Prix phenomenon helped Austin gain global media coverage worth $191.2 million.
Locally, area hotels took in $32 million. That's triple what they did during a University of Texas football home game the same weekend the previous year.
US F1 Grand Prix by the numbers:
- Total three-day attendance: 265,499
- Race day attendance: 117,429
- Outbound ABIA passengers, Nov. 19, 2012: 21,725 (single day record)
- Private planes: 300
- Downtown hotel occupancy on Sat. Nov 17, 2012: 97.8%
- Total downtown and Travis County shuttle ridership: 98,363
- Three-day bicycle ridership to COTA: 1,153
- Helicopter flights to COTA: 2,546
But an issue from the 'lessons learned' side was how to get fans to spend money.
A business survey found a majority of shop owners expected the event to be positive. Of those surveyed, 46 percent said it was worse than their expectations, and 49 percent reported lower than expected actual sales.
In addition, downtown concert attendance was lower than expected. Organizers had planned for up to 12,000 fans at the convention center, but audiences ranged from 2,000 - 4,000 over the weekend.
This year's race will also conflict with a UT home football game, likely stretching some resources thin. Big 12 foe Oklahoma State is slated to play in Austin on Nov. 16. This year's U.S. Grand Prix will take place Nov. 15-17.
The report notes that both events taking place on the same weekend will strain downtown shuttle parking and hotels.
A link to the full report is here .
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