Austin F1 project to spend $145 million this year

Don Hoyte said some Austinites may be having trouble comprehending the scope of the U.S. Grand Prix, the Formula One event that is slated to begin here in 2012.

“It sounds like just another car race," said Hoyte. “It’s not."

Hoyte has attended only one F1 race, the 1972 U.S. Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. But for 20 years, through 2008, he worked at the Texas Comptroller’s office where he was an expert on the impacts of the Texas Major Events Trust Fund, which will be tapped to the tune of $25 million annually to bring Formula One racing to Austin.

Hoyte’s company,, recently completed a study for the promoters of Austin’s F1 race.

Among other things Hoyte report concluded:

The project could spend $144.9 million in 2011, its peak construction year.

That construction would pump $68.4 million in wages into the Austin economy.

The project could help the metro’s unemployment rate drop from 7.3 to 7.1 percent.

Construction of the track should cost between $215 and $242 million.

Hoyte said to get his estimate of the cost of the 3.4-mile Austin circuit he looked at other F1 tracks that have been built recently at the pace of about one a year. “It’s not going to be Dubai ($1.3 billion) or have the problems like they did with Shanghai," Hoyte said.

Hoyte’s current study focused on the economic impact of the circuit’s construction. Don’t be surprised if he does a later one for the promoters that focuses on the impact of a F1 Grand Prix race. The Statesman

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