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Formula One: Up to $5K to Reserve a Seat (Ticket Not Included)

A rendering depicting the 9,000 seat main grandstand at the Circuit of the Americas track.
Image courtesy
A rendering depicting the 9,000 seat main grandstand at the Circuit of the Americas track.

Local Formula One track promoters announced ticket details for their inaugural F1 race and other events: $1,000 to $5,000 for a spot on their “Select Seat Wait List.” That’s right: Upwards of $5,000, just for the right to purchase tickets for future events.

Granted, the “personal seat licenses” the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) racetrack is selling are for the best ones in the house: a perch in the 9,000 seat, 26 row main grandstand. Licenses are also available for seats along three of the course’s main turns, including Turn 1, which “sits atop a dramatic 133 ft. elevation and features the clearest sightlines for the track’s signature turn,” COTA promoters write.  Along with being eligible to purchase tickets for every F1 event at the track, license holders will also receive a “priority position” for purchasing tickets for other race and entertainment events there.

Formula One fans can join the select seat waitlist right now with a $100 deposit. Announcements on individual ticket sales will be made this summer, closer to the F1 race in November – a tight timetable, considering construction is still underway at the site. Work at the racetrack was temporarily suspended last year in the wake of a dispute between COTA, race organizers Full Throttle Productions and the Formula One parent company.

Discussing the arrangement this morning, The New York TimesFormula One blog notes “But recent photographs showing where the actual construction work stands, may make a viewer – or potential seat buyer – feel a little less optimistic.” It seems as if the banner on the COTA site, reading “November will be here faster than you think,” applies to the track itself along with prospective ticketholders.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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