The Texas home of Formula 1 was denied the opportunity to host a race this year, but received its big payment from the state to cover the expenses of the 2019 United States Grand Prix.
Texas made its annual payment to the besieged Circuit of the Americas in Austin, sending nearly $ 27 million on July 2, according to state records. It was about three weeks before F1 officially canceled the 2020 United States Grand Prix due to the coronavirus pandemic. This race was to take place at the end of October.
The money will cover the costs of organizing the 2019 race, track chairman Bobby Epstein said on Tuesday. That includes a massive rights fee estimated at around $ 30 million paid to F1 just to host the race.
“It’s not a godsend,” regretted Epstein. âIt’s just to make up for the money already paid. “
The track has raised nearly $ 200 million in state government revenue since 2012 under the Texas Major Events Reimbursement Program. It allows the organizers of large events to cover their costs by handing them over the tax money collected around the event.
While critics have called it a corporate giveaway of taxpayer money, it has been used by big events such as the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four. The United States Grand Prix was by far the largest recipient of state money.
The racetrack missed a $ 25 million payment for the 2018 race due to a paperwork error. The track has also been hit hard financially by the pandemic, losing not only the Formula 1 race but also the canceled MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas this year and the cancellation of many concerts, including the Rolling Stones.
âWe haven’t had a paid event since Formula 1 last fall,â said Epstein. “I hope we will be back in the spring with MotoGP.”