Miami to get F1 race — what does that mean for F1 in Austin?

Sports

AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal/KXAN) — Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens has finalized a deal to host a Formula One Grand Prix in 2021, the organizations announced in a joint statement Oct. 15.

The news comes as thousands of people from all over the world prepare to come to Austin’s Circuit of the Americas for F1.

“They come from Europe. They come from Mexico. From all over the world,” said Angelos Angelou whose company Angelou Economics conducts various economic impact studies around the country.

According to Angelou’s recent report, F1 drew nearly 63,000 out-of-state visitors. They spent about $695 million over three days.

That’s more than double how much people spend at Austin City Limits over two weekends and about double the amount spent during South By Southwest.

  • Austin City Limits: $265 million
  • South By Southwest: $356 million

“The demographic of F1 visitors to Austin is high income demographic,” said Angelou. “Some members of the Paddock Club, which is the exclusive part of F1, will spend between $12,000 and $18,000 on entertainment. They stay in the most expensive hotels. Entertain quite heavily.”

The number of people attending, however, Angelou said has been decreasing in recent years.

“There was another F1 race announced in Mexico City,” he explained.

He added, COTA has been taking steps to try to draw more people. “F1 in Austin includes concerts, and this year they have two acts,” he said. “They actually moved them to Friday and Saturday, so they can have more attendees for those days.”

COTA’s current contract with F1 expires in 2021. F1 officials didn’t want to comment Thursday on the status of the negotiation, but told KXAN, “We have said many times that we want to increase the number of Grand Prix in the United States.”

They said the Miami announcement doesn’t affect Austin. According to F1, the U.S. has the 3rd largest fan base after China and Brazil.

Austin has been F1’s only U.S. home since 2012. Angelou said there could be room for more than one F1 city in the country.

“It’ll all depend on what time of the year the race will be held, so they’re not very close to one another,” he said.

Track chairman Bobby Epstein said in August he is confident about the sport’s long-term future in Central Texas.

Read the full story on the Austin Business Journal website

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