The day has finally come. After more than a year of hurdling problems with cash, partners and even Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone himself, and after months of selling those high-dollar personal seat licenses (PSLs), the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), future home to the United States Grand Prix (USGP) in Austin, is ready to start selling tickets to the Average Joe.
Considering this Formula One race, to be held Nov. 18 in the new $300-million track under construction near Austin, will be the Super Bowl of racing in the United States, you might think the ticket price would be at Super Bowl prices — it's not. In fact, one could argue it's downright reasonable.
You can grab a three-day general admission pass for $159 (which averages to $53 per day, but you cannot buy individual day tickets). The general admission ticket gets you berm seating all over the track, and you can wander around at will.
Grandstand tickets at the favored turns will cost more of course, from $269 to $499. Still, even the best ticket available (without a PSL) will be cheaper than many folks will pay a ticket broker for University of Texas vs. Oklahoma football game ducats this year.
“Information provided by the public was crucial as we finalized prices for the 2012 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix," Circuit chief marketing and revenue officer Geoff Moore said in a press release.
"We received fan input from extensive customer surveys and through market research from other Grands Prix and comparable premier, international, multi-day sporting events. In the final analysis, we wanted to make this event affordable to F1 fans around the country. Whether they want a reserved seat or the freedom to explore our expansive facility with a general admission ticket, they will enjoy great views and amenities.”
The most valuable amenity attached to the tickets might be round-trip shuttle service. COTA will lease hundreds of buses to get people into the site which will hold 120,000 people, but only 16,000 cars.
The shuttles will run at Park and Ride locations around the Austin area, including 15th Street and Trinity Street downtown, the Travis County Expo Center in eastern Travis county, and at a location in southeast Travis County to be announced later this summer.
Here are the ticket prices listed by COTA. You can look at our circuit map in the photo set on the side to get a feel for where the various seats are located.
Seating Area Three-Day Ticket Price Per Person
General Admission $159
Grandstand - Turn 11 $269
Grandstand - Turns 2, 3, 4 and 5 $299
Grandstand - Turn 12 (lower rows) $399
Grandstand - Turn 12 (upper rows) $499
Tickets will be sold beginning Sunday at CircuitofTheAmericas.com/tickets, ticketmaster.com (use the search terms “Circuit of The Americas” or “Formula 1 United States Grand Prix”), or by dialing the Ticketmaster hotline: 1-800-745-3000.