COTA put F1 fans at the heart of the action with new central grandstand

Henry Valantine
A view above the Circuit of The Americas.

A bird's eye view above the infield section of the Circuit of The Americas.

Officials in Austin have unveiled a new grandstand at the Circuit of The Americas, which puts F1 fans right in the middle of the action.

The new grandstand has been constructed within the esses from Turns 3-5 – designed with the aim of replicating the famous Maggots and Becketts section at Silverstone.

But while the view offers a head-on angle of one of the fastest parts of the circuit, the new fan section will also take in the hill up to Turns 6-8, with predictions that as many as eight corners will be visible in one place.

Circuit staff also claim the infield section brings fans closer to the main attractions at the track over the weekend too, and they are excited to see how the new grandstand will enhance the fan experience.

 

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Circuit of The Americas chairman Bobby Epstein said: “After years of ambition, this incredible location, something we’ve always hoped to add, is finally a reality.

“It is one of several new fan-focused improvements, along with a new five lane road, 200 more front gate buses, 5 new shade tents, and a new “quick serve” menu.

“This grandstand allows us to open an entirely new part of the campus to programming and enhanced offerings.”

But the track is already looking to the future as well, despite celebrating a decade in F1 this year. Alongside the new grandstand, Epstein revealed that they are looking at further ways to improve fan entertainment at the race weekend.

Speaking to Statesman earlier in the year, Epstein said: “We’re building a massive amusement park that I hope opens in ’23. We’ll have 30-plus rides and two mega-coasters.

“One of them will be the first of its kind in the country. It’ll be an amusement park to rival any other.

“We’ve got a lot of room out here, and we’ll keep adding events.”

Fans invade the track after the US GP. Austin October 2021.
Fans invade the track after the United States Grand Prix. Austin October 2021.

This year’s race is another sell-out, after Austin posted a record attendance last season – further highlighting the growth of F1 in the States.

More than 100 US companies now have partnerships within the sport, and a third race is in place for next season, with Miami and Las Vegas to appear on the 2023 calendar.

And for this year’s United States Grand Prix, Epstein revealed that demand was high. Very high.

“We got notes from Ticketmaster that the system was overloaded,” he revealed. “Reserve seats sold in a day and general admission in a day and a half.”