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SMI Chair Smith Says Austin F1 Race Will Not Negatively Impact TMS Events
Published November 5, 2012
CHECKERED PAST: FORBES' Christopher Helman wrote under the header, "Wild Ride: The Sordid Saga Of How Formula One Racing Came To Texas." F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "agreed to issue the Circuit of the Americas its own ten-year contract -- at a price." Ecclestone "upped the annual sanction fee" to $25M instead of the previous $23M. Former COTA Managing Partner Tavo Hellmund "is out," and track investor and former Vikings Owner Red McCombs has "dialed back his involvement and capped his equity contributions but is believed to be a guarantor behind much of the track’s debts." TMS Chair Bobby Epstein, meanwhile, has "attracted more than a dozen new equity investors," including John Paul Mitchell Systems co-Founder John Paul DeJoria. Former IndyCar driver Mario Andretti was "hired as the public face of the track." Epstein said that he has "finalized a deal by which Texas will reimburse the track for the F1 sanctioning fee after each year’s race, once the receipts from the horde of F1 fans have been tallied up." Epstein also "hopes to build a hotel and research center on-site" (FORBES, 11/5 issue).