Anderson Issues

Commentary on the Zeitgeist

Austin’s Formula One Track

Posted by thelazysombrero on November 6, 2011

Outside of Austin, a Formula One track is being built. It is the launchpad of an American campaign circuit plan sure to bring foreign investors to the states. So far the 10 year plan is projected to begin in 2012 and will end in 2021, so officials say. The track promises deep economic gain to companies such as Freescale and IBM, who have deep connections to formula one overseas. The track’s installation will be very beneficial to these two companies, who support alot of jobs in Austin. Austin Business Journal commented that the track would have the ability to put $25 million into the local economy annually. As alluring as all these projections are, there are problems with practical implications of the installation of the track. Many decisions have been made as to where the site will be, and the placement of the 3.4 mile track. Check out this link:

The track looks admittedly badass, as it starts with a jacknife turn in front of an audience of 130,00 curiously awaiting fans. Then, the cars will accelerate to top speeds of 200 mph (or 321.868 kph for our European viewers) through winding hairpin curves, another jacknife turn, 3 more large curves, and a 90 degree finish line stint. Here’s a visual.

It’s a typical American project – highly funded with no general concern as to how it will be accomplished. The real problem is that the neighbors aren’t very happy about it. The land has been cleared out and all of the indigenous animals are spreading out. Neighbors have reported animals eaten by the tremendous number of displaced coyotes, and a rise in rattlesnake sightings. These same neighbors also have to deal with a noisy construction site nearby for the next year or so. Let me know what you guys think about the new development!

29 Responses to “Austin’s Formula One Track”

  1. willieparker said

    You go boy!

  2. It’s on schedule and will benefit alot more than you mentioned. The Coyotes have been eating animals around that area for 100 years or more. Didn’t you see the Lion King?

  3. Former Austinite said

    Some of the neighbors are happier with the track than the 1,500-1,800 homes that was planned for that land prior to the track. Even if the original plan hadn’t of fallen through, there would have been subdivisions out there in the not so distant future.

  4. Tim Wood said

    A few corrections, if I may:

    -2012 through 2021 is a ten-year term, not nine.

    -Only a handful of the track’s neighbors are marginally dissatisfied with the project. You cite the opinions of two people and then make a reach of epic proportions.

    -Over a period of several years, many very intelligent and experienced people have put a great deal of thought into this project and its execution.

    -This area is in the middle of a years-long severe drought. Animals have been ranging out of their normal territories in search of food and water. There was recently a huge wildland fire near this site which destroyed several thousand acres and over 1400 homes. You may have heard about it. This event has had a further effect on animals roaming away from their typical habitat.

    Tim Wood

  5. A. Nony Mouse said

    The only people who are dissatisfied with the track are those that would have been dissatisfied with ANY development in their area. The blight that would have been the housing development on the same land as the track would have raised the local tax base even more than all the commercial development presently even contemplated for the area.

    What the neighbors will soon realize is a personal economic boost, just has all track neighborhoods do. I know one local Indianapolis resident that paid her yearly mortgage by renting her yard for parking almost directly across from the track for one weekend each year. So shall it likely be with the rest of the local residents.

    As for economic benefit, at an estimated attendance of 100,000, that’s only $250/race attendee (i.e. at an estimated $25M impact). I would think that there will be more race attendees, and a much higher dollar per attendee revenue realization, resulting in a more likely $100-200M economic impact per race weekend. Now factor in more than one race weekend, and ask yourself if this is a “good deal” for the Austin metropolitan area?

  6. Nik Godbey said

    It will take a whip to get the name established in the f1 world. Names like Monaco and le mans have been around for ages. Silverstone and the Nürburgring have been hosting races and track days since the 50’s and 60’s. You also need to consider the fact that, if the circuit is planned properly, there will be several tracks based on the same layout. If the track owners are smart, they will also have open track days every weekend that there isn’t a race.

  7. thelazysombrero said

    In reply to the points raised earlier, I would like to say that I DO support the track’s installation. The short post did seem negative, although that was not my intent. My intent was to point out some negative opinions raised, because the positives are all too obvious. Of course this track will bring large amounts of money in Austin, update this area, and be the FIRST in the States of its kind. The neighbors will enjoy the benefits of the stadium eventually, and one can only predict the kind of money it will bring to the area. That said, this post was meant to inspire conversation which it has, and to get some feedback on how people view the track. Obviously we are all on board with the track (except what the hell is Nik Godbey saying?) and that it’s construction will be good for the Austin area.

    • Nik Godbey said

      I brought up names of world famous F1 and Grand Prix tracks. You must not know anything about the GP or F1 setup if you don’t know what I’m talking about.
      And yeah I had a typo, I meant a while, but my iPod changed it.
      And as for the track layout, there is usually a full circuit, with several mini circuits or variations. And I really doubt that it will be the first of it’s kind in America, there are tracks in Florida, New Hampshire, and Arizona that cater to F1.

    • You’re not the Lone Ranger if you’re new to the sport. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to F1. I rely heavily on experienced fanatics like Tim Wood and others as I climb the learning curve. I will say that making assumptions (in print) will always send your article to the wood shed. I do believe you when you say you support the track, but be careful about stating things that cannot be validated. Your statement about IBM and Freescale is news to me, as well as placement of the circuit. I’ve walked on the track and can assure you it has been firmly placed. Hope to read more of your view points and don’t hesitate to ask the F1 fanatics for more info.

  8. hypermusic05 said

    I think it’s great that they’re building this because i’m sure there are a lot of supporters of it here, but i personally never saw the appeal of formula 1 or NASCAR. I feel like they’re more highlight sports (idk if they’re considered sports or not) and by that i mean that it’s really only fun to see the awesome crashes and what not, just plain driving doesn’t seem that appealing to watch to me. But i’m sure it’s a whole different atmosphere if you’re there.

  9. awall621 said

    I think this is a great idea! I, for one, have been Formula One racing since I was a little tyke in diapers. The rise in coyotes in rattlesnakes is a plus too, it means more competition for me! The native animals obviously weren’t strong enough to survive construction, it’s all about natural selection.

  10. themaddscientist said

    As far as I see it, there might be a lot of revenue generated for the Austin area, but I feel that many of us have overlooked a few key things.
    First off, the F1 breed of racing seems to be a dying breed of racing. I’m not sure that it will actually last for what they expect it to last.
    Even if you could convince Europeans to fly down to watch, there are too many ifs and buts to this track that concern me. It will generate revenue, but that is if people are actually interested to go there, if they are willing to stay in hotels (the hotels the rich will want to stay in are in downtown Austin, so that means wrangling with traffic), if they will invest in local business, and if something else doesn’t overtake it in the next few years. On another note, we’re firing teachers, laying off workers left and right, and yet we find a reason to spend around $50 million to a private business that should be able to fund itself? If you don’t have your basics such as education squared away, you shouldn’t spend $50 million on something that isn’t going to help us out of this downturn now. There are just too many ifs to this project and too many issues that I see arising, on the fact we’re paying for this with our tax money in an economic downturn. It doesn’t add up.

  11. Guardian said

    Unfortunately like the author of this post im not very educated on the topic of formula 1.However i can assume that formula 1 advocates would take offense to comparing it to NASCAR. The redneck sport of the states and its european counterpart seem vastly different. The technique used to drive in a circle compared to the elevation changes and track variation makes formula 1 a superior form of entertainment

  12. h2pr0 said

    I don’t know much about formula 1 but I think this track will be a nice new event for the Austin area. Formula racing is a big deal for Europeans and it should bring a lot of them to the area and put money into the multiple local businesses. I cant wait to see how everything turns out.

  13. The idea of a race track in Austin is very different from the more hipster-feel the city has. It’s kind of interesting to picture such a large establishment going throughout the city, and I’m not sure I like the thought of it. Racing to me is pretty insignificant, and for the price it costs to put this in, makes it pretty pointless. However, the creation of so many new jobs, even if they are temporary, would be very beneficial to the stability of the economy. The city needs to consider whether putting in this track is worth angering so many citizens who have no interest in the sport, but are having to deal with the consequences of it’s installation. If it is messing with the habitat of wildlife, then it is definitely not worth all the problems that comes along with it.

  14. Mr. Earhart said

    I’m in favor of this track for a couple of reasons. The first of which is incresed revenue for Austin businesses (and, therefore, employees), along with increased revenue for the city of Austin – as it’s always nice to “tax the tourists” via sales tax. But, my biggest motive is to finally get some lightrail and improvements to public transit. I believe the F1 track will incorporate a lightrail line to the track from downtown. Our public transit in Austin sucks, so anything that can help our transit system gets my stamp of approval.

  15. thelazysombrero said

    I was just watching the KXAN news at 10, and there is a MONKEYWRENCH! I REPEAT, WE HAVE A MONKEYWRENCH! The race for 2012 has been CANCELLED. Bernie Ecclestone has cancelled the conract. I don’t know if anything is concrete yet, but check out this article from the Houston culture map:

    Thoughts?!? Is this the death sentence for Austin’s track hopes? And will this contract cancellation kill the track? If so, what are we going to do about construction so far?

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  18. dupid2 said

    The track will obviously bring economic growth to the city of austin and becouse of that pure reason I think that its going to be an amazing thing to have. Though its kinda sad that the tickets will be ridiculously expensive and the only people that will be enjoying it will be the wealthy and the tourists.There seems to also be complaints about the construction going on since they are trying to finish asap theres been rumors that the construction has been going on over night and that the residents have not been able to sleep. I feel bad for the people living around these areas though i also agree that they will be rewarded in the end. Though theres also a problem with the traffic that will arise because of the track, it will be hard for the neighbors to get to their home though theres also been rumors about have these people will have a special pass or their own lane in order to not be stuck in traffic for hours with others that are actually going to the track.

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