Update: Travis County Commissioners voted 3-2 to continue negotiations with ROT Rally organizers to keep the annual event at the Expo Center.
Our original post continues:
The Austin City Limits festival starts up again at Zilker Park this weekend, and as one of the city’s biggest festivals begins, another could meet its end. A vote today by Travis County Commissioners could mean farewell for the ROT Rally.
The Travis County Expo Center has been home to the Republic of Texas Rally for 24 years.
“It does fit us," promoter Jerry Bragg said. "It’s a little rough-edge for a lot of activities, but for a motorcycle rally, it’s perfect.”
Bragg has hosted bikers from around the state every second weekend in June. But the rally’s contract ended over the summer, and renegotiations with the county have not gone as planned.
County Judge Sarah Eckhardt made it clear last week that the ROT Rally was not going to get a break on current rental rates.
“The idea that this Commissioners Court would wrap itself in knots to provide a special deal for private, for-profit events, I don’t see any reason why we should take it up," she said.
The Travis County Appraisal District wants to rent one building at the Expo Center from May to August next year for a temporary, one-stop shop for property tax protests. If the appraisal district gets the building, that means ROT Rally would not come back, Bragg said.
“We’ve looked for other venues in Austin for 20 years," he said. "There are none in Austin.”
Commissioners vote today on whether to accept the district's offer.