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Is COTA Living Up To Expectations?
Updated: Friday, April 11 2014, 06:36 PM CDT
Screaming engines are set to fill the air this weekend as the green flag drops on the MotoGP Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas in southeast Travis County.
It's the second biggest annual event at the track behind Formula One.
COTA claims it's a critical piece of the engine that pumps millions into the local economy. And developers promised the track would be worth about $400 million dollars a year.
According to the Texas Comptroller's Office, COTA has received $61.2 million in reimbursements from the State of Texas's events trust fund.
The world-class facility has claimed COTA-hosted events are projected to generate an annual economic impact of $400 million to $500 million, equating to $4 billion to $5 billion over 10 years for Texas.
Now two years have passed, is the track living up to its promise?
"We are filling out our calendar with things that bring large crowds," said COTA spokesperson Julie Loignon.
So far there are 200 events scheduled. That includes F1 which brings in $500 million alone every year.
And the newcomer X Games is expected to rake in $50 million yearly.
"We are in the second year for most of the races we are doing. X games is brand new. Redfest a country festival and a comedy festival is new this year," said Loignon.
The challenge COTA face now, Loignon says, is making the international events more popular in the U.S.
"Our job is to try to make sure that U.S. fans of sports entertainment know that these things are going on. They are every bit exciting as the races we've grown up watching," said Loignon.
But with 80 percent of the F1 attendees being from outside of Texas, it only helps push money into hotels and local shops.
Success or not? We will have to wait and see.
This weekend's MotoGP is just the first of several major events on the track's calendar this year.
Redfest is May23-25, X Games June 5-8 and F1 USGP Oct 31-Nov 2.
For more information go to http://circuitoftheamericas.com/calendar