COTA eyeing 500,000 fan milestone for USGP in 2024

Circuit of The Americas is aiming for half a million fans during a race weekend from next year’s United States Grand Prix, according to circuit boss Bobby Epstein.

Last year’s event saw a record 440,000 attendance in Austin, the highest of the season as Formula 1’s growing popularity was demonstrated by spectator numbers. At the time Epstein stated that he’d like to see the venue break the 500,000 mark, and while he says it’s not the time to push capacity that high this season, there will be trials taking place to allow it to attempt to do so in 2024.

“I think that comes down to transportation and food service and enough restrooms, and we can solve all of those,” Epstein said. “We really found that our bus shuttle service is working well — we’ll upgrade it this year because we just got a new road before last year’s race. I think with some other enhancements and some tests we’re doing this year both on food service and on transportation we’ll be in a position to do that next year.


“We’ll have to see if the demand is there but we’ll have the capacity, certainly next year, assuming the things that we are trying this year go as well as we hope they will.”

Epstein says the addition of more races in the United States that are positioned so differently to COTA helps advertise the sport to more fans, but feels F1 has largely become a more accessible sport wherever the events are taking place.

“I think we saw that last year with the massive crowd that came, that was a combination of additional exposure in the U.S. both from the Miami race and from Netflix (with “Drive To Survive”), and from what we’ve done in the past. So I think the other races can work sort of as a commercial and they can be very complimentary to what we’re doing.

“It’s great too see the race on in the spring in Miami in May, because it allows us to just get the attention of the U.S. viewer; but at this point in the world, as global as all of our wired environments are, it’s much easier to follow global sports today than it was even five or 10 years ago. So Miami is complimentary but truly just the ability to follow the sport has become a lot easier in the U.S.”

Story originally appeared on Racer