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SBD Global/November 15, 2013/Events and Attractions
COTA President Says Race Taking Proactive Steps To Stay Lively In Second Year
Published November 15, 2013
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HOTEL HASSLE: One of the concerns fans voiced last year was that hotels made the trip very expensive, more so than the race, Dial said. Taking its fans seriously, the racetrack talked to the hotels. Dial: “So it was very important for us to work with the hotels to make sure that they weren’t making the hurdle too burdensome.” Whether or not the talks had any effect on hotel prices, people once again have flocked to the race. More than 40 countries will be represented and all 50 states again, Dial said. He added, “More than 50 percent of the people that will be here this weekend weren’t here last year, so we’ve driven incredible awareness. And folks are taking us up on coming and seeing what Austin can do hosting an F1 race.”
COLLEGE CONFLICT: When the Circuit of the Americas welcomed the F1 circuit last year, it made sure that the University of Texas Longhorns football team did not have a home game on the same weekend. Not this year. The Texas Longhorns will take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys at 2:30 pm Saturday afternoon. While the two parties tried to coordinate and avoid a scheduling conflict, it simply did not work out this year. Asked about the impact the college football game will have on Saturday’s attendance, Dial said, “The reality is, I’m not sure if it really hurts us or not. We are trying to have a price point that allows people to try us, to try and get to know F1. Come out to the Circuit of the Americas.” There certainly will be some of the hundred-plus thousand people that will be at that game on Saturday that would maybe have joined Saturday’s qualifying session, he added. Dial: “But I think maybe we’ll get some that maybe didn’t have it on their schedule, but they are like, ‘Hey, we are in Austin, so maybe I should take it in.’” In the end, Dial said, “It’s important that we create an experience that people leave wanting more."