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COTA to feature new infield grandstand for Grand Prix

NEWS STORY
19/08/2022

The Circuit of the Americas has revealed that a new infield grandstand is being built in time for this year's United States Grand Prix, the tenth to be held at the Texas track.

It wasn't that long ago that in order to put bums on seats the track had to rely on the likes of Taylor Swift, but Drive to Survive appears to have changed all that.

Last year's event witnessed 400,000 fans pass through the turnstiles, surpassing Mexico (371,000) and Great Britain (356,000), and in anticipation of even greater numbers this year's race - the 10th US GP to be held at COTA - a brand-new grandstand is planned at the infield of the circuit.

Located just after the esses of Turns 3-5, the new grandstand gives fans a head-on view of the cars, just before they head uphill through Turns 6-8.

These new seats represent not only some of the nearest-to-the-action views, but also the opportunity to witness countless moments of the race from one spot, as the grandstand builds upon COTA’s unique and purpose-built design, which allows some guests to see as many as 8 turns from one seat.

"After years of ambition, this incredible location, something we’ve always hoped to add, is finally a reality," said COTA Chairman Bobby Epstein.

"It is one of several new fan-focused improvements, along with a new five lane road, 200 more front gate buses, 5 new shade tents, and a new 'quick serve' menu. This grandstand allows us to open an entirely new part of the campus to programming and enhanced offerings."

Seated at the heart of COTA, the new infield grandstand will be a central location with premier proximity to all of the race weekend experiences including curated food, entertainment and merchandise.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Max Noble, 24/08/2022 8:07

"@ian_w - The creators of “Wallace and Gromit” (UK stop-motion characters, who you might not have heard of depending on you location, and demographic…) once said they would prefer a small number of people to be highly passionate about their creation, rather than a huge wave of near-indifferent “fans”.

I believe Liberty are building an increased fan base, which at some point will evaporate. When this happens all the “old dogs” who were a stable long-term fan base will have mostly left in disgust at what they perceive as the corruption of the sport. So, ten years from now we *might* be looking at a reduced F1, with a significantly reduced fan base.

If COTA joins the selling out, has a few years high on the hog, and then vanishes, then it will be sad.

As others have noted it is a great track, and has often produced some classic racing. I wish it a very long, healthy, and successful future… without selling out.
"

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2. Posted by Tardis40, 23/08/2022 0:17

"A contender on my short list of most boring circuit in F1. Too bad, as a US resident I had hopes for it."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by CL, 20/08/2022 17:06

"Oooh, another opportunity for some mindless drivel about the “drive to survivification” of F1.

Glad to see circuits taking the sport seriously and investing in the fans’ experience. The more, the merrier!"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by kenji, 20/08/2022 15:14

"@ian-w...all cool. "

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5. Posted by Editor, 20/08/2022 8:49

"@ ian_w

Another 'Post of the Week'"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by ian_w, 20/08/2022 2:53

"Sorry kenji, did not mean to throw you in the lot; misread comment scrolling on device."

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7. Posted by ian_w, 20/08/2022 2:45

"To all the naysayers (Roli/kenji/Max), please rationalize for a minute before spouting. COTA has to pay F1 hosting fees of $30M+/yr. Meanwhile, their direct competition, Miami and Las Vegas are basically run directly by F1. Those events would not even have got on the board had it not been for all the efforts, interest and success COTA generated, reinvigorating the US market.

Sure, we all looked at the concert thing and destination event as gimmicky, but it worked. Now they want to add more seats , with a great view so they can get revenue to keep paying bruise rising hosting fees. Good for them.

Because the alternative is not really Vegas or Miami, it's either some Arab sheik, prince, global dictator or wannabe oligarch just asking F1, "how much to put a race in my backyard" and forks overs whatever ridiculous number F1 throws out there. Would you rather have an event where the entire attendance could be packed in to that new COTA grandstand? What if it's a nation you may not feel comfortable having your wife/daughter or yourself travel to? (OK, gun violence and other US issues notwithstanding).

Everything might be bigger in Texas, but they can't compete globally in the "size of the wallet" dept. These guys built a facility for racers and race enthusiasts and only slightly flexed their integrity and devotion to make that dream a reality.
"

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8. Posted by Chester, 19/08/2022 12:51

"I lament adding the extra seats to COTA, only because of crowding. But beyond that COTA is a success story. Great track and great experience, and very good transportation to and from the track.

I vividly remember the doubting-Thomas' on message boards leading up to the first Austin GP in 2012. The consensus was "it couldn't be done".

I arrived expecting the worst. I was greeted by military precision (US, not Russian) in ALL aspects. That COTA experience beat the hell out of my experience at Interlagos, Monza, Montreal, and Barcelona- but not Nurburgring.

Texas is can do. I saw it that day- and I moved to Texas because of it. I have not been disappointed.

I save my derision for Miami and Las Vegas. COTA is a world class track. "

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9. Posted by Roli, 19/08/2022 12:32

"Woppy poo ! Cant wait! It will make the racing sooo much better ! Its just all gimmicks."

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10. Posted by kenji, 19/08/2022 11:34

"COTA is a top track and is a must see.....Flat tracks just cannot compare IMO. Great elevation changes are what forms the backbone."

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11. Posted by Max Noble, 19/08/2022 11:29

"Thank the Good Lord! Plenty of seats for “Drive to Survive” bottoms. The future of the sport is mass market mania based around short term attention spans. Do they have discounts for people with ADHD? I think I’d qualify… God Bless Generica…"

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