Tag Archives for austin
Filed under: Motorsports, Etc., Toys/Games, Racing
Workers outside of Austin are still hammering away on the new Circuit of the Americas Formula One track, but race fans and gamers will get a shot at driving the course before the first tire hits the t… Continue reading
Love it or hate it, the Formula One circus is heading to Austin, Texas. The reinstated United States Grand Prix is set to take place in the Lone Star capital city starting in 2012 and the annual event will surely infuse an added boost of tourism revenue into the Austin area. But just how much will the initiative cost Texas taxpayers?
The first indication could be the licensing fee which Formula One Management chief Bernie Ecclestone charges race organizers for the right to hold the event and its inclusion in the championship. The fee varies for each venue, and nearly every grand prix is financially supported in some capacity by local governments eager to put their locations on the map. Austin’s bill reportedly comes to $25 million for the first year, and will be passed on to local government for the first year at least. After that, the revenues from the previous year’s race will go towards Ecclestone’s fee for the following season.
Assuming Bernie applies the same 7% annual increase as he does to other venues, that means the race will need to generate $26.75 million in its first year to cover just the licensing fee for the following year. Considering that – with advertising, concessions and just about everything else going straight to Bernie’s pockets and some to the teams – ticket sales remain as one of the few ways for race organizers to recuperate the costs.
When Daimler launched its Car2Go car sharing program as a pilot project in Austin, Texas six months ago, it was only available to municipal employees and some some selected partner organizations. Daimler has now decided to open up the program to the general public in Austin. Other car sharing systems, like ZipCar, have proven popular, but they all offer an important option that Car2Go does not: vehicle variety.
People participating in Car2Go only have access to the Smart ForTwo. Nonetheless, over 3,000 people, including 1,200 city employees, have signed up for the program. The fully automated program is currently averaging 2,000 rentals per week in the Austin area and Daimler plans to expand it to other cities in North America and Europe. Hopefully, other vehicles will be made available in addition to the Smarts. We’d be happy to take the S400 BlueHybrid out for an afternoon this summer, to name just one example.