Taxpayers Foot $25 Million Bill For Formula One Race In Texas

Matt Farah
by Matt Farah

There’s a reason they call Formula 1 “The Circus.” Not only are race days a dramatic spectacle that draw thousands of fans from thousands of miles away, but also they can pretty much demand anything they want from cities for the right to host races. These “sanctioning fees” are anywhere from $25 million to $50 million per year, just for the right to have a race.

Although New York had been gunning for the world’s most glamorous racing series to return to the state after a 30-year absence, it seems as though Austin, Texas won (ahem, *bought*) that race, and the right. Now about those sanctioning fees…..

We’ve learned that the $25 million in taxpayer fees that were supposed to go to local governments to help support the race is actually going directly into Formula 1’s pockets for the sanctioning fees. A state law that was changed last year indicates that the state’s “Major Event Trust Fund” can use its funds for whatever it sees fit, including “attracting and securing eligible events.”

What that money isn’t going towards is the roughly $250 million needed to actually construct the facility and surrounding infrastructure, or actually supporting those local businesses. Where that money will come from, as of now, is a mystery.

[Source: The Statesman]

Join the conversation
 1 comment
  • Chad Chad on Feb 17, 2012

    The question you must ask your accountant, is will this be an investment that pays off after a few years or not? F1 draws a lot of people, that will spend a lot of money over the course of the race weekend. Unlike a football stadium, a race track can attract business every day of the year.