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Big 12 Schedules Texas Home Game For Same Weekend As F1 U.S. Grand Prix UPDATE
Red McCombs (L) during a Mario Andretti track visit earlier this year
Red McCombs, a University of Texas benefactor and a founding partner in Circuit of the Americas, said he was confident a scheduling conflict next year between Longhorns football and Austin’s Formula One Grand Prix will be resolved.

“It’s a bump in the road. We’ve had a zillion of those,” McCombs said Wednesday. “I have no idea what we’ll have to do (to resolve the conflict).”

In 2013, Texas is scheduled to play a home game against Oklahoma State on Nov. 16. That game should draw about 100,000 fans. The next day, Austin’s second Formula One race is scheduled to take place. This year’s race drew more than 117,000 fans — the largest turnout for a sports event in Austin’s history — and a three-day crowd that exceeded 265,000.

“I really believed this product would do this,” said McCombs, a San Antonio billionaire. “Last weekend was just a little bit less than what I expected. I really thought we’d do over 120,000 on race day.”

McCombs said he was surprised when he learned Wednesday of the 2013 scheduling conflict. He said he did not have any previous discussions with DeLoss Dodds, UT men’s athletics director, about the two schedules, and McCombs added that he has not talked to Dodds since the Big 12 announced its 2013 conference football slate.

Officials with Texas or the Big 12 have said it would be hard to switch the date of the Texas-Oklahoma State game because the teams do not have the same bye week. The Longhorns’ schedule does manage to avoid home-game conflicts with the Austin City Limits Music Festival, which will expand to two October weekends next year.

Changing the Formula One calendar, meanwhile, could have international repercussions, but McCombs said people tend to forget that Austin’s inaugural United States Grand Prix was switched from a June date to a November one.

“We didn’t have too much difficulty in getting it moved,” McCombs said.

The 3.4-mile road course was barely completed in time for its first Formula One race, but the circuit and the event have received some rave reviews.

“Our (own) grading came out an A-plus,” McCombs said. “It was grand time. We’re still basking in it.” The Statesman

11/21/12 The F1 U.S. Grand Prix and the Univ. of Texas football program are “on a collision course for the weekend of Nov. 15-17, 2013,” according to John Maher of the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN. The Big 12 Tuesday revealed UT is scheduled to host Oklahoma State on Nov. 16 at Royal-Memorial Stadium, the same weekend the second running of Austin’s F1 race has been scheduled. The OSU-UT game “should draw more than 100,000 fans,” while the three-day race weekend this year “drew about 265,000 fans, including more than 117,000 on Sunday for the actual race.” The football game would be on Saturday, the “same day F1 will hold its qualifying runs.” 

Having fans in town for both events “would put a big strain on restaurants, rental cars, shuttle buses and bars.” The “biggest conflict, though, probably would be over hotel rooms.” UT men’s Deputy AD Butch Worley said the school is "going to do everything in our power to make it a 2:30 game, so our fans can get in and out” without having to stay in a hotel.

He added, “The Big 12 understands the issue.” UT men’s AD DeLoss Dodds said that UT “does not operate in a vacuum and that all Big 12 schools have issues to deal with when it comes to scheduling.” Maher notes F1’s final schedule is “expected to be adopted in December at a meeting of the world’s governing body for motor sports, FIA, in Istanbul.” Austin Statesman

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