(Kind of) long ago (2012), in a (very, very slightly) smaller Austin, a fancy European-style racetrack moved to town. Christened Circuit of the Americas, it promised to bring piles and piles of doubloons (though not to the state, which gave it complicated economic incentives) and jobs for many research and information workers, to the tiny(ish) kingdom—especially with its premier race, the internationally beloved Formula One Grand Prix.
Now, reports the Texas Tribune, the famous race might need a pop princess (queen?) to save it.
According to the Tribune, attendance at the race has declined steadily since it started; delays and cancellations caused by last year's heavy rains seemed bound to decrease those numbers even more in future years.
Although the F1 race alone makes up a big percentage of the track's annual revenue, the Trib reports, organizers were up in the air about whether or not they would even put on the event in 2016, citing a decrease in their incentives from the state—$19.5 million instead of the $25 million the race had received in each of the previous three years—as a big factor in the decision.
Now, in hopes of restoring the event to its former glory—and renewing the level of state subsidy to its former level—organizers have announced they will go on with this year's race, to be held Oct. 21-23. They'll add improvements to the track, lower ticket prices, issue refunds for cancelled events, and—icing on the cake—host a Taylor Swift concert during the race to restore financial viability and, more important, prove to the state the race is worth being returned to the full funding ride.
So can Tay-Tay help F1 shake it off? (Sorry.) Let us know what you think in the comments.