Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Is Circuit Of The Americas on Formula One's Hook?

By now Y'all are painfully aware of Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) current financial predicament over its F1 contract, right? Which was in the news following  this year's Mexican Grand Prix.

Y'all know when COTA CEO Bobby Epstein uttered those famous words: "To use a Technical Term, We're SCREWED!"

As apparently current Texas Republican Governor Gregory Abbott has STUPIDLY decided to throw a spanner in the works by announcing plans to grossly cut current Special Events Funding to COTA by slashing $5.5m from this year's funds.

Whilst F1's Gran Pooh-Bah Uncle Bernaughty is being his merry self, graciously giving COTA some extra time to come up with the goods! Sheez, how compelling of you Bernie! (Yeah, that was intended to be sarcasm...)

Although it's a 'lil foggy now, if we wind-back the clock, recall that COTA's initial Formula 1 race was unwisely penciled in for June 17, 2012 in order to "Twin" with North America's other race, the Canadian Grand Prix at Il Notre Dam.

As then Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, most assuredly under then Republican Governor Rick "Good Hair" Perry's guidance, signed a contract guaranteeing payment of $25m per year for the duration of COTA's 10-year contract to host the United States Grand Prix directly from the Special Events Trust Fund.

As this 25-million per year was solely for the "Hosting Rights" sanctioning fee, albeit I scribbled 'Wayback in Twenty-eleven' how Austin had craftily conjured F1 into paying the $4m (plus) Operations fee, i.e.; actual costs to put-on the race yearly.

A-L-L of which doesn't take into consideration either inflation or Messer Bernard Charles Ecclestone's traditional contracts clause of yearly upward spiraling "Cost-plus Appreciation" Fee!

Wink-Wink, Nudge-Nudge, Y'all know when Bernie passes the savings onto his beleaguered In debtors! As this year's race sanctioning fee reportedly rang up to the tune 'O $33m; SHEISA!

Alas, whilst I feel Mr. Epstein's fiscal pains; Uhm? Note to Bobby Epstein, if your FREAKIN' Concessions weren't so prohibitively EXPENSIVE! Then perhaps we meek ticket buying citizens could afford to actually purchase them, eh?

Psst Mr. Epstein. Guess What? The Indianapolis Motor Speedway actually allows patrons to not only take food in, but beverages too, including Adult ones!

And really? You're in a hissy-fit over attendance being down, even going so far to blame Mexico. Well Duh! I'll hazard a guess that attendance will continue to do nothing more than keep declining, which is exactly what should occur in Mexico - after its novelty wears off. Like just ask the Indianapolis Motor Speedway how the Brickyard 400 and MotoGP events are working out attendance-wise, eh?

As you should be pissing yourself silly for only having lost some 5,000+ attendance, especially with that awesome weather this year!

Obviously COTA's getting a Bum Steer here, especially if the State's legally bound to paying Formula 1, although surely there's some little known opt-out clauses, right?

Yet, I've now been to eight American F1 races with Austin being my third venue following Phoenix and Indianapolis. Surely Y'all remember Phoenix, right?

Thus, Formula 1 has a nasty habit of coming 'N going in the United States, although this has never been Messer Ecclestone's concern! As I have NO idea if I'll be attending next year's race? But somehow I doubt that COTA will be refunding me for the cancellation of Friday's Free Practice 2 & Saturday's Qualifying sessions, right Mr. Epstein?

And even though my financial contributions to the state of Texas, and more notably the great city of Austin are inconsequential. Nonetheless, the past two years I've flown to Austin four times solely to attend MotoGP and Formula 1 at COTA, otherwise I'd  have NO intensions of going there, so perhaps Y'all will wanna ponder that Mr. Abbott! And don't forget Y'all;

And Hot Damn! I didn't even get to the part 'bout "Good Hair" Perry's current trial for alleged abuse 'O power; Huh? A Politician abusing power in Texas; Nah!

Hmm? As know I scribbled 'bout him and the Misses going to Italy for some 'lil 'Ol F1 race at Monza, not to mention a personally guided tour of Maranello and a ride around Fiorano in one of Scuderia Ferrari's automobiles. As it was a "Trade Mission," yeah that's the ticket!