Austin Grand Prix Announces Tickets
Prices, sale date confirmed as county approves permit
By Richard Whittaker,
4:37PM, Tue. Jun. 5, 2012
With the announcement this morning that the Travis County Commissioners have approved the necessary event permit for the inaugural US Grand Prix on Nov. 18, the Circuit of the Americas has just confirmed prices and availability.
The commissioners approved the track's request for a mass gathering permit this morning after several hours of public testimony and staff input. The permit allows a maximum attendance of 250,000 over the three day event (the average F1 event begins with testing on Friday, qualifying laps and usually some supporting races Saturday, and then the Grand Prix and other lower series races on Sunday.) However, as testimony this morning showed, there are still some concerns about ensuring safety and EMS access to the surrounding community.
The application does fill in some additional details about what's planned for the Austin event. The circuit is scheduling practice and qualifying sessions on Friday and Saturday from 10am to 4pm, with Sunday's schedule kicking off at 1pm (although it's unclear whether that's the race or the drivers' parade.)
And now, the ticketing. Sales start Sunday, June 10 via the COTA website, and there will be three tiers. First, the premium grandstands (which are of the "if you have to ask, you probably can't afford" school of pricing.) Then there will be the grandstand bleacher three day passes, which vary from $269 for turn 11 to $499 for turn 12. Then there are the general admission tickets at $159.
According to COTA's stats, those ticket prices puts the Texas race pricing for three day grandstand seats around the middle of the pack. It's a comparable price to Montreal ($264) and the two Spanish grand prix, Valencia ($247), and Barcelona ($234), but markedly cheaper than Melbourne ($324) or Sao Paulo ($394.) Considering how the track is pitching itself to the Latin and South American markets, that price comparison against Brazil could be significant. And, just for further comparison, the $159 general admission tickets are less than either the early bird or regular ACL tickets ($185 and $200 respectively.)
Both grandstand bleacher and general admission come with round trip shuttle transportation included. With only 17,000 onsite parking spots, already dedicated to high-end ticket buyers, staff and media, circuit management has announced that they will be depending on buses to get the majority of the crowd to the race, and will have three pick-up and drop-off points: 15th and Trinity, the Travis County Fair and Expo Center, and a third location in the South-East of the county, TBC. There will also be provision for charter coaches, limousines, and bicycles.