Austin Officials Confident Over Funding Process

By Community | August 20, 2012

Austin Grand Prix officials are adamant they have followed the proper process in pushing on with their race at the Circuit of the Americas, despite fresh doubts about the venue’s eligibility for Texas state funding.

A ruling by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott at the end of last week failed to resolve the issue of whether or not Austin was eligible for £30 million (USD) worth of revenue from a Major Events Trust Fund – which was set-up to help finance national and international sporting events taking place in the state.

Abbott suggested that because there had not been a local application for the funding, then Austin should not receive the money – which had been expected to be released after this year’s event that takes place on November 18.

Abbot said: “Unless an application for an event as defined in the statute is submitted to a site selection organisation, that event is ineligible for METF funding.”

There is a dispute, however, over whether or not Austin did apply locally to Formula One Management rather than simply being selected to host a grand prix – and this will be key to the issuing of funding.

In a statement issued by the Circuit of the Americas, circuit president Steve Sexton said: “We have worked with the local organizing committee in following the process to secure and host this international event.

“This event will pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the Texas economy while creating thousands of new full and part-time jobs and will have a positive impact on our community.

“We look forward to the first Formula 1 United States Grand Prix in Austin this November, and to working with state, county and city officials to create another key economic driver for Central Texas.”