COTA's formula for success in Austin
Another big star says yes to COTA.
From the roar of race engines to the rhythms of rock and pop stars, Circuit of the Americas CEO Bobby Epstein says securing Justin Timberlake for Formula One weekend is all about getting a world class act for a world class weekend.
"Oh, we're thrilled," Epstein said. "There is a small list of people you have sorta on the wish list to get and Justin Timberlake is certainly one of them."
Now Epstein says COTA is on a roll.
"Having Taylor Swift made it easier," Epstein said. "Having Elton John made Taylor Swift easier. It's starting to become a destination event."
Whether it's the music or the high tech racing machines, the goal is to get people to the track.
Epstein says Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake fans may not be into racing but they'll get a taste of the sport and some of them will be back.
"Whether you're a race fan or an entertainment fan there should be something for everyone," he said.
But it's an expensive weekend.
When COTA first got the green light for the F1 race weekend they got $25 million a year from the Texas Major Events Trust Fund. Then Governor Greg Abbott came in three years later and slashed that by $5 million to $19.5 million. Now who knows what the legislature will do, but COTA thinks it has a winning formula now.
Add in all of the other events COTA hosts year round and Epstein says the track's impact is starting to pay off.
"The vision really is to create a year round entertainment destination," Epstein said.
In the last four years, Epstein says COTA had a positive $7 billion impact for the economy and added 39,000 jobs.
"I think things are moving in the right direction," Epstein said. "The city is finally realizing that this is about year round activities and it's about enjoyment and frankly it's the city finally embracing what we're doing here that has made the biggest difference."