F1: COTA upgrades fan experience to handle explosion in F1 popularity
After hosting the most attended Formula 1 race weekend of all time in 2021, and in light of unprecedented demand in today’s on sale event for the 2022 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix on October 21-23, in which all reserve seating has sold out with only limited general admission, camping, and shared hospitality remaining, Circuit of The Americas today unveiled a series of programs to improve fan access and guest experience for this year’s Grand Prix.
“We’re grateful the fans have embraced the annual Formula One United States Grand Prix events and pleased to see so many familiar faces each year”, said Circuit of The Americas Chairman, Bobby Epstein. “As this year’s weekend schedule will reveal, our continued success allows us to increase our investment in fan entertainment and improve the guest experiences. As we celebrate our first decade, it’s our goal to make the 2022 Formula One United States Grand Prix one of the greatest sports and entertainment events ever!”
Improved Fan Access
Expanded Operating Hours, Guest Services Staff, and Increased Programming
To better serve guests, COTA is hiring and training nearly a thousand more guest services personnel and increasing daily operating and programming hours, providing fans with more opportunities to expand and enjoy their race weekend experience. Along with additional gate opening hours, the post-race entertainment offerings will be increased.
Enhanced F1 Shuttle Transportation Program
By reducing on-site parking, lowering race day attendance capacity, eliminating distant shuttle lots, adding more than 100 buses and obtaining dedicated bus lanes, event access will be greatly improved. Expanded operations from the nearby airport lots, along with a new shuttle system from the Travis County Expo Center, and a dedicated bus lane on the recently expanded Elroy Road will reduce shuttle times and traffic.
COTA is also working with a new shuttle provider that specializes in major event operations with industry-leading mitigation planning and technology enhancements. This provider promises an enhanced training programs for onsite and offsite shuttle staff and drivers.
U.S. Grand Prix shuttle tickets will be available very soon.
Improved Traffic Plan – Elroy Road Expansion and Front Gate Drop Zone
Elroy Road, a primary gateway to the Circuit, recently completed a major expansion to five lanes. This increased capacity will allow for dedicated shuttle/bus lanes and additional egress lanes. A massive event such as the U.S. Grand Prix will always have wait times, but we expect significant improvements over prior years. Further, COTA is increasing bus capacity for the popular Grand Plaza front gate drop-off/pick-up area.
COTA’s recently convened ADA Task Force, which includes representatives from a cross section of governmental, legal, and civil society representatives from the central Texas region have collaborated on a series of ADA enhancements which will be available for US Grand Prix race weekend. These include a new general admission ADA ticket category, personalized ADA pre-race communication to ADA-specific attendees, dedicated remote parking at ABIA, specialized ADA parking and hashmark signage and text, wheelchair and scooter rentals, and new captioning on videoboards across the Circuit.
The U.S. Grand Prix Kids Club STEM Program
COTA is launching this new program which will offer STEM-focused kids groups to buy $20 single day general admission passes during the race weekend, giving a thousand area youngsters the opportunity to experience Formula 1 racing at COTA at the most affordable ticket price in the F1 calendar. The program will also engage the students with special STEM-related content connected with their experience at the Circuit.
Race Weekend Fan Experience
Major Concession Stand Expansion
COTA’s food vendor is increasing the number of concession transaction points, ensuring more food stands also carry drinks (correcting a significant 2021 shortcoming), and expanding food choices. The Circuit is increasing vegetarian-friendly, vegan, and “grab-and-go” food and beverage options. This will improve on-site foot traffic flow, reduce wait times, and increase choices.
Race Weekend Camping Enhancements
COTA continues to upgrade its camping options, providing a unique benefit for F1 fans. This year, more powered spots, more dry camping spots, and new campground areas have been added across the COTA campus, providing greater access and amenities for some of the Circuit’s most committed, regular attendees.
New Ticket Packages
Building on the success of last year’s new ticket packages, COTA will introduce Plaza Club, an all-new hospitality experience located at Turn 19. This club will offer incredible views of the final three turns of the circuit in an elevated, luxurious environment. Fans in Plaza Club will be able to refresh with all-inclusive food and beverage while watching the race from a climate-controlled lounge area.
In addition, seating at Turn 4, a fan-favorite area near COTA’s iconic stars and stripes, has been upgraded from bleacher seating to a premium grandstand. Fans will be able to enjoy individual seats and seat backs in the newly-expanded grandstand.
Tickets for the 2022 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix are on sale now. To learn more about the race on October 21-23, 2022 and to purchase tickets visit http://thecircuit.com/f1.