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F1 Attendance Down Compared to 2013


NickHolt

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F1 Attendance Down Compared to 2013

 

Austin, TX -- The stands at Circuit of The Americas were about 13,000 people short compared to 2013 attendance numbers for the Formula One Grand Prix Race in Austin.

 

According to COTA the race brought in 237,406 fans over the event that ran Friday through Sunday. In 2013, 250,325 people made it out to the race, which was the fourth-highest attendance F1 Grand Prix race of the 2013 season.

 

Some restaurants said while they'd geared up for more fans to walk through their doors they didn't see many more customers than normal.

 

"We thought F1 coming into town all the thousands of people was really gonna boost the business but it was kinda neutral, we got some of the F1 fans but then a lot of the regulars and locals didn't want to get out in traffic so it wasn't bad but it wasn't good," Co-owner of Terry Black's Barbecue Michael Black said.

 

Staff at Baby Acapulco, also on Barton Springs Road, said they too weren't as busy as they'd hoped for.

 

But some restaurants near downtown said they actually saw a small spike in sales. Many street vendors said it may have also been because it was also Halloween. The Iron Cactus reported an almost 10% increase in business compared to normal.

 

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Saw this post on the GP Americas Linkedin site that is run by Vance Facundo:

 

by Pete Harrell, Consulting Mechanical Engineer

 

The races were great, particularly the Porsche GT Supercup 2nd race Sunday morning, and once again, the Ferrari Challenge guys proved to be "gentlemen" racers in name only. No surprises really in the F1 finale, though it appeared Vettel has already retired from F1 this season and Alonso/Ferrari continued to disappoint. Raikonen? Who's he? Was he even in the race? The weather was perfect, the track is tremendous, and COTA management is still as clueless as ever.

 

My short list of 10 things COTA needs to do:

 

1. Wholesale upper management replacement and hire some former drivers or race engineers to run the place.

 

2. Is it beyond COTA management to come up with some automotive/motorsports related entertaining things to watch and do between races? Hire Jeremy Clarkson as a consultant!

 

3. The Longhorn and Texas State bands are fine bands for sure, but what do they have in common with motorsports? Replace them with a vintage car parade, or a soap box derby type race from T1 down the front straight driven by F1 team principals. Anything rolling or with an engine.

 

4. Get rid of the food nazi's at the entrance. Does COTA really think concession sales will improve by confiscating people's granola bars and baggies of peanuts? I got the impression I could walk in with a RPG slung over my shoulder so long as my camera lens didn't exceed the maximum length and I wasn't hiding a Diet Coke. And why only the one entrance? That's just fan hostile. Give us entrances right across from the parking lots.

 

5. Build lots more permanent restrooms. COTA resembles some sort of UN refugee camp.

 

6. Yes it is Texas, but does that mean the complete absence of anything not barbequed, chicken fried, or baked to indifference? Hire Gordon Ramsay to rework all the food outlets. Go world class or go home. Our visitors from around the world must think we are the biggest hicks in the universe.

 

7. Bring in retired legendary drivers and raffle off lunch with the likes of Sir Jackie, Mario or Niki. Make the weekend a motorsport experience, not a Texiana puff piece.

 

8. Lower the prices. Yes it was a NASCAR weekend in Fort Worth. Like it or not, the NHRA and NASCAR have defined large venue US motorsport events as well as fan expectations. If you want F1 to be more popular in the US, make it more affordable and fan friendly. After paying north of $500 for a T12 seat and parking, and suffering $4 bottles of water and carney food, the very LAST thing I want to see during the weekend is a MONKEY ON A DOG or a herd of overweight college nerds marching around on the track playing irrelevant music!

 

9. Who were those jokers calling the race on 105.3? Their mindless blather was neither informative nor accurate. "The red lights just went out -- go, go, go!" Here's a clue sweetie: that thing that moves on the back of the car is the DRS, not a "little flappy thing." Sheesh! What happened to Bob Varsha as promised? Was he too embarassed to share a microphone with the local talent? The track announcers were only marginally better. Both sets were an embarassment to motorsports and should go back to calling holiday parades. Hire some pro's boys, or at least some knowledgeable amateurs who know a turbocharger from a crankshaft. Better yet, tell Bernie to get over himself and bring back the great little FanView gadget or whatever it was called from the 2012 race.

 

10. COTA needs a no anesthesia cranio-rectal extraction. First class motorsports sell themselves. Let's see nothing but automotive/motorsport related stuff all weekend then watch how things take off. The Navy Seals are great, but irrelevant during a race weekend. Instead, drop a poser Camaro streaming red, white, and blue smoke from a helo hovering at 500 feet onto the track infield and you'd have a national anthem closing no one would ever forget. That's the kind of goofball stuff Top Gear pulls off that has us all glued to the show every week. Take a lesson, COTA, take a lesson.

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Still outsold Nascar on the same weekend.

 

I did not attend the race but this Pete Harrell guy hit the nail on the head. Motorsports are followed by people who enjoy motorsports. Making them endure the Barnum and bailey circus, then college football halftime shows just to witness the grand spectacle of formula 1 on american soil is a bit much to expect. No other country hosting F1 races puts on such a deboggle of useless entertainment. Yet another reason the COTA management have failed the US people. They may understand the workings of fortune 500 companies, but when it comes to giving motorsports fans what they want and leave them wanting more, their clueless.

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8. Lower the prices. Yes it was a NASCAR weekend in Fort Worth. Like it or not, the NHRA and NASCAR have defined large venue US motorsport events as well as fan expectations. If you want F1 to be more popular in the US, make it more affordable and fan friendly. After paying north of $500 for a T12 seat and parking, and suffering $4 bottles of water and carney food, the very LAST thing I want to see during the weekend is a MONKEY ON A DOG or a herd of overweight college nerds marching around on the track playing irrelevant music!

....and then theres paying $200/night for a $60 hotel room....I was planning on attending Cotton Bowls two-day show and couldn't find a room anywhere close or under $200 a night....eventually my plans fell through anyway, but still just because they do it in D/FW doesn't make it right....

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  • 1 month later...

Still outsold Nascar on the same weekend.

 

 

I don't think it did. At least not on race day. There were a fair amount of empty seats in Ft. Worth, but they have a whole lot more seats than COTA does. Two to three times as many.

 

I remember looking it up at the time, and while that NASCAR race didn't sell out, it still had about 120-130K folks on hand iirc. Also, the U.S's lone F1 race should outdraw one race on the long NASCAR schedule.

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