Playland Skate Center
"...Massive news for motor sports fans: Formula One has announced that it has signed a deal to resurrect the United States Grand Prix, with Austin serving as the host city for 10 years...."
"...Ever wanted a chance to catch professional homophobes and veteran funeral disruptors the Westboro Baptist Church in action? Headed to the Formula One race at the Circuit of the Americas this weekend? Guess what! You can do both. Yup, the Westboro hate machine is rolling into Austin this weekend...."
"...Dear Editor: I am writing regarding “Public Notice: Maybe It's Time for Formula Two” [News, Oct. 31], the excellent exposé by Nick Barbaro and the finances of Formula One and whether Austin has made any money to offset the $29 million it "ponied up" to bring Formula One to Austin..."
"...We've been bracing for this for years now, folks. You've followed all the twists and turns of the tale so far (see here if you need a refresher), and Formula One is finally in our midst...."
"...Two and a half years ago, Austinites heard for the first time that their city would be hosting the first United States Formula One Grand Prix in half a decade. Frankly, most locals had no idea what that meant, and even now, on the eve of the race, many Austinites are still trying to work it out..."
"...Dear Editor, If there is a God, he or she must surely be the driving force in the recent eruption of trouble for the squalid attempt to build a Formula One racing facility in Austin. A feud between the principal players in the project has led to a stoppage of construction at the track and cast the entire enterprise into a divine state of doubt. What's wrong with Formula One for Austin? Let us count the warts..."
"...Late last week, it appeared the proposed Formula One racetrack deal with the city had turned its tightest corner – who would commit the $4 million in up-front money that would trigger the $25 million from the state's Major Events Trust Fund? On Thursday, Council Member Bill Spelman told the Chronicle that the local organizing committee (acting on behalf of race promoters Full Throttle Productions) had agreed to provide or guarantee the annual $4 million for the full 10 years of the proposed contract – an arrangement later confirmed by Mayor Lee Leffingwell. Both officials emphasized that the agreement had not yet been prepared in contract form, and there were many additional questions to be answered before council could vote on the proposal (scheduled for this Thursday, June 23), but that in their judgment the primary obstacle to a deal had been removed..."
"...The Austin Formula One facility has a new name and a new tenant. On April 12, Formula One United States Grand Prix announced that the southeast Travis County site will be called the Circuit of the Americas, or COTA for short..."
"...Austin's Formula One project has passed its first big planning vote, with council voting unanimously to reimburse the developers for laying water and wastewater pipe in the area. However, the vote was predicated less on the track project itself than on getting water into southeast Travis County...."
"...Grand Prix in Austin penciled in for June 2012, Austinites already knew the when – now they know the where and the who. On July 27, Full Throttle Productions formally announced that the new dedicated Formula One track will be built in Southeast Austin and introduced its big backer – Billy Joe "Red" McCombs...."
"...Testing the smoke and lights on one of the downtown stages for Austin Fan Fest. While many Austinites are avoiding the race, the organizers suspect they'll come out for the party...."
"...Formula One raced into City Council chambers in an unexpected way last week, with a council member making the rare step of reconsidering an item after its passage, over fears the city unwittingly locked itself into a water/wastewater agreement with the racing giant...."
"...Dear Mayor, Council Members, and City Manager, Before the city of Austin proceeds with the Formula One plan, will there be a study conducted to estimate the expected carbon footprint and environmental impact of both the construction of the racetrack as well as the annual race event? [“Formula One Coming to Austin,” The Score Sports blog, May 25.] It would seem at this stage in our development as a species that a projected carbon footprint and environmental impact study should be required before any major capital project. With the announcement of the F1 racetrack in the foreground, the oil spill continuing to destroy the Gulf of Mexico and its environs looms large in the background. The two are not unrelated. The recreational use of oil byproducts is a 20th century luxury that we can no longer afford..."
"...Will the Circuit of the Americas be finished in time for Austin's first Formula One race? During a site visit on July 27, the project team explained the current state of construction. The track (shown here as it rises up to Turn 1) is still being laid, with the final layer of pavement expected Aug..."
"...Austin's inaugural Formula One race – officially scheduled to take place next fall – may be in peril, as construction on the new Circuit of the Americas track near Elroy has been suspended. Sources close to the matter say that the planning has become a game of brinkmanship between the two firms at the heart of the project...."
"...In a last-minute deal between the Circuit of the Americas and Formula One, Austin's 2012 grand prix has been saved. At the same time, even with checks mailed and developers firing up the bulldozers to complete the track, there are still a whole bunch of unanswered questions...."
"...Dear Editor, I appreciate the Chronicle including my letter [“Postmarks,” July 16] detailing how Texas taxpayers might well be on the hook for Formula One’s $25 million “sanctioning fee.” I also appreciate Richard Whittaker’s printed reply that this issue only merited coverage in a sidebar to his main story [“Austin at Very High Speed,” News, July 9]. Yet there’s another matter that got no coverage: According to the June 11 Statesman online edition, Gov..."
"...Dear Editor, Why does Formula One racing need to be subsidized by taxpayers? The idea is perverse. Elected representatives have a fiduciary responsibility to invest taxpayer funds prudently. Building schools, hiring teachers, and repairing roads are examples of where tax dollars should be invested..."
"...The U.S. has hosted Formula One races 51 times over 52 years in the sport's 60-year existence, including a 20-year run at Watkins Glen International and eight years each in Long Beach and Indianapolis..."
"...Remember 2012? It seems predictions that Formula One racing would lead to tourist overload and trafficpocalypse in Austin were greatly exaggerated. Instead, in 2015 the U.S..."
"...Be sure to drop by the W Hotel (200 Lavaca) to order the COTA Flame cocktail they've created in honor of the Formula One event, in hopes that it becomes the signature drink of the race...."
"...Dear Editor, I am writing to express my disappointment, almost outrage, at the rates I find that Austin area property and hotel owners are seeing fit to charge during the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix weekend in November..."
"...Dear Editor, It is laudable that efforts are being made to green the Formula One project, but the sad truth is that F1 cannot ever be very green as long as the water management strategy being forced upon it by the city of Austin remains very, very un-green. This sort of event-driven venue is perfect for distributed reuse..."
"...Sometimes, you just get to see a natural step up. In Formula One, it's Sebastian Vettel, the four-time world champion..."
"...Lotus F1 Team lends one of their cars to the celebrations at Austin City Hall for the city's inaugural United States Grand Prix. The British-based team fought a long legal battle to bring the classic black-and-gold livery back to the starting grid...."
"...The track was then filled in with aggregates selected by track designers Tilke GmbH, and is now being surfaced in sections. The top layer must be laid in one pass, and that will require two trucks, side by side, laying asphalt continuously around the 3.4 mile track, and a third for the broad passing points at the corner...."
"...F1 cars have always pushed the technological envelope, but this year, you can hear the difference. Gone is the signature "jam jar full of angry hornets" shriek of the old eight-cylinder 2.3 liter engine, replaced with the trilling purr of the newly mandated six-cylinder 1.6 liter..."
"...Big news for Formula One and its environmental impact: As of 2012, teams can use biomass-derived fuels, but the big change comes in 2013 with the introduction of hybrid engines...."
"...Since the Formula One U.S.Grand Prix rolled into town, much chatter has been devoted to trying to prove that the weekend is not just for the one percent. Sure, the town's fine dining establishments will be packed with enough Mikimoto to confuse St..."
"...There's much debate going on regarding which is the worst of the current cinematic train wrecks: Guy Ritchie's remake of Swept Away or this Guy Ritchie knockoff directed by Ronny Yu. The smart money's on Yu; at the very least Ritchie's film (which has yet to play Austin) has the rock-solid acting chops of his wife, Madonna..."
"...Grand Prix scheduled for Nov. 18, there are still a lot of folks wondering – what is a Formula One anyway? Formula Expo president Ian Weightman said, "Formula One has never worked particularly well in the U.S., in large part because people don't understand what's so cool about it." The author of Formula1InAustinBlog.com, he's turned his obsession with F1 into a full-fledged preview/intro to the globe-trotting motor sport before it gets to Austin..."
"...Interesting series in The Guardian this week from reporter Paul Weaver, in town from England to cover the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix..."
"...Can a Formula One race ever be truly green? For sustainable building expert Edgar Farrera, there is no other option. On Jan..."
"...It's been little more than two months since the surprise announcement that Austin might be home to the revamped United States Grand Prix. Now that the shock of the news has died down, project developer Full Throttle Productions LP faces a massive engineering and permitting challenge: turning 900 acres of Travis County into the United States' first-ever permanent dedicated Formula One racing facility in time for the 2012 season...."
"...If recent headlines have soured you on watching a Shane Black movie this weekend, then I’ve got … well, maybe not good news, but news nonetheless. Danger One, an action-comedy from Steffen Schlachtenhaufen (writer of pitch-black comedy Would You Rather), hits theatres this weekend, and it is every bit the Black imitation that the trailer suggests, only with a less talented cast, worse writing, and the strangest ADR choices you’ll find at the theatre this year...."
"...Fehrman has played the city funding game from both sides of the board: serving three years on the Mixed Arts panel and applying for money for her company Stillpoint Dance for four years. She takes a levelheaded approach to the process since she understands that although an artist inevitably takes the scoring and allocation personally, most panelists do not see the process as personal..."
"...He ran for City Council believing he knew how to build a better city, one his children wouldn't flee when they graduated high school. So it's not hard to guess where his attention will fall for the rest of his first term: He'll be peering over architects' shoulders on projects like the Triangle development, and, should the Nov..."
"..."Have you heard the news?" he said with a grin, "The Vice-President's gone mad!"..."
"...Five months ago, Austinites heard the surprising announcement that Formula One motor racing is coming to town. With the first major council vote scheduled for Nov..."
"...The sound of a Formula One car is like hornets – if the hornets were flying at 225 miles per hour. Yet the May 25 announcement that Austin will become the new U.S..."
"...As we suspected, and as our sources were telling us last night, an eleventh hour deal has been struck between Austin's Circuit of the Americas and Formula One Management: Austin will host the 2012 United States Grand Prix after all...."
"...What is Formula One? Is it like NASCAR? Nope. Unlike the favorite U.S..."
"...His job is to make sure the Circuit complies with the deal, but he says his personal commitment is to exceed its terms. One source close to the project said it's sometimes been difficult to hear Farrera's voice over the maelstrom of construction and deadlines..."
"...A few weeks ago, I promised my boss Nick Barbaro that I would cheerfully eat crow if what I had written (see "Point Austin: Race-Off," May 6) about Austin's pending Formula One deal – essentially, that as I understood it, the deal would not qualify as a city subsidy of the Grand Prix race – was proven wrong. The test was to be whether, in the following weeks, F1 attorney (and Barbaro's bête noire) Richard Suttle would come to City Council and request $4 million to help support the first 2012 event (and potentially also contract for similar support for 10 years)...."
"...Formula One United States already had leading track designers Tilke GmbH on board to design the racing part of their grand prix circuit. Now they've selected the Dallas office of HKS Inc., the international firm behind Dallas' opulent Cowboys Stadium, as the building architects...."
"...Not all economic migrants are heading north over the border: Tavo Hellmund, the man that brought Formula One motor racing to Austin, and was the driving visionary behind Austin's Circuit of the Americas, is part of a consortium that has returned F1 to Mexico City...."
"...Formula One was lethal. Between 1952 and 1994, 32 drivers died in the world championship hunt, and another six during testing..."
"...With this Thursday being City Council's final meeting until the end of July, you know it's gonna be a doozy. The 139 item agenda for this week's meeting, the final one with Randi Shade on the dais, contains action on Formula One, pedicab regulation, the return of Willie's statue, controversial development issues, and Fun Fun Fun Fest, naturally...."
"...Better count your chickens, Austinites, because Richard Suttle is loose in the henhouse again. Everyone's favorite developers' attorney is at City Council today (Nov..."
"...It has been a frantic 48 hours with the track construction suspended and Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone saying that it is almost definitely off the 2012 calendar. However, a window of opportunity may be opening for 2013, just as project innovator Tavo Hellmund breaks his silence...."