Formula 1

5:17 pm
Tue July 5, 2011

Texplainer: What are the State Event Trust Funds?

Comptroller Susan Combs giving the biennial revenue estimate in Austin January 10, 2011.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Hey, Texplainer: What are the State Comptroller’s Events Trust Funds, and how do they work?

With ground broken on the Formula 1 Circuit of the Americas racetrack southeast of Austin, the racing venue recently found itself in a dispute between the city of Austin and State Comptroller Susan Combs over the use of one of four trust funds intended to encourage the hosting of events in Texas. The funds provide money upfront to host events before the state recovers the money from hotel, alcoholic beverage, car rental, sales, and general use taxes in the period during and after the event.

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9:04 am
Thu June 30, 2011

Top Morning Stories for June 30, 2011

The other shoe could drop any day...or not.
Picture by KUT News

THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION IS OVER!!! (Sorry just had to get that out of my system)

On to the news of the day (so far):

Watching and Waiting for Gov. Perry

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8:16 am
Sun June 26, 2011

Sunday Morning Round-Up: June 26, 2011

Your round up of the day's news from KUT. (Now with Coffee!)
Photo by KUT News

Another hot day ahead in Central Texas. Not that you needed me to tell you that. The forecast will remain pretty much the same until....hmmm....maybe October?

So why not sit back, stay cool and read this round up of the day's news.

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11:22 am
Fri June 24, 2011

F1 Talk Brings Huge Spike In City Council Viewership

Channel six saw a spike in viewership when F1 was discussed on Thursday.
Screen shot by Mose Buchele for KUT News.

Austinites will have to wait till next week to know the fate of a planned Formula One racetrack in Southeastern Travis County, but its not just Austinites paying attention.  People from around the world are voicing their opinions on the racetrack in online forums, op-eds and emails to City Hall. 

The debate is driving a lot more traffic to the City's TV station as well.

Channel Six, the station that broadcasts city meetings, normally attracts between 300 to 400 viewers to its websites during council meetings. But not on Thursday.

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5:14 pm
Thu June 23, 2011

Austin City Council Delays F1 Vote Till Wednesday

Construction on the F1 track continues in southeastern Travis County.
Photo by Circuit of the Americas

Saying they need more time to consider a proposal to endorse a Formula One track being constructed in southeastern Travis County, Austin City Council members voted 6-1 to postpone a vote on a deal that would unlock $25 million in state subsidies to pay for costs associated with F1 races in Austin. Mayor Lee Leffingwell was the lone dissenter.

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3:40 pm
Thu June 23, 2011

San Antonio Hopes to Cash In On Austin's F1 Visitors

San Antonio tourism officials hope F1 tourists are interested in seeing sights such as the Alamo.
Photo by Broken Piggy Bank

San Antonio tourism officials are hoping to attract the international travelers who could flood Austin during Formula One events. Casandra Matej, executive director of the San Antonio Visitors and Convention Bureau, says the ideal international visitor would stay a few evenings in Austin and then head to San Antonio.

“There will be San Antonio opportunities to kind of create synergy for that," she said. "We can provided that extended stay for the people that are going to enjoy the race.”

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1:25 pm
Thu June 23, 2011

The Formula One PR Blitz at City Hall

Formula One branded merchandise was passed out at to crowds at Austin City Hall Thursday.
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News.

Want to load up on the latest Formula One paraphernalia? Race over to Austin City Hall.

F1 baseball caps, water bottles and bumper stickers were distributed today in a public relations blitz ahead of City Council's vote on the race track project. So many were given out that white caps speckled the capacity audience in City Council Chambers -- a dramatic image for City Council members from their seats on the dais.

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12:35 pm
Thu June 23, 2011

Read the City’s Draft Agreement on F1

It was a dramatic morning at Austin City Council. Supporters and opponents of a Formula 1 track being built in southeastern Travis County squared off during public comment period. Substantially more people signed up to speak in support of F1 (246 of them), but opponents (26 people) were just as passionate.

City council could vote today on whether to endorse the track. Such a blessing would put the wheels in motion for $25 million in annual state subsidies. So what is the agreement? We posted it above for you to see for yourself. See a fullscreen version here, or download the .pdf here.

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News Brief
6:14 am
Thu June 23, 2011

Top Morning Stories June 23, 2011

The Texas House and Senate need to reach a compromise on a bill to overhaul the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association before this special session ends.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News.

Lawmakers at Odds Over Windstorm Insurance

Texas lawmakers are running out of time to overhaul the cash-strapped Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.  That’s the insurer of last resort for people who live along the Texas coast. The Texas Senate approved its version of a TWIA overhaul bill yesterday. It’s very different from the House version which is stricter and limits how much residents could sue TWIA for, if they feel their policy isn’t being honored.

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2:26 pm
Tue June 7, 2011

F1 Organizers Want City to Pay $4 million a Year into Trust Fund

Artist's rendering of Circuit of the Americas
Photo provided by Circuit Events Local Organizing Committee

Austin City Council members heard a presentation today on Formula One Austin, that asks the city to contribute $4 million per year to a fund that would be managed by the group.  The money would come from additional tax revenues generated by people visiting Austin for F1 events.

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Formula One
12:14 pm
Fri June 3, 2011

Date Set for Austin's F1 Race

Austin's first ever Formula One race has been set for June 17, 2012.
Photo courtesy of Circuit of the Americas

The proposed Formula One racetrack has yet to be built southeast of Austin but the date is set for its first race. Mark your calendars:  it’s scheduled for June 17, 2012. If temperatures next year are anything similar to what we're seeing now that could be one hot race, literally.

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2:44 pm
Tue May 31, 2011

No Racetrack Yet, But F1 is Financing Roads in Travis County

The site of a planned F1 racetrack in East Austin.
Photo courtesy of Full Throttle Productions.

A proposed Formula One racetrack southeast of Austin is not a done deal, but that hasn't stopped F1 from helping to fund upgrades to a road that would lead to the track.

Tuesday, Travis County Commissioners voted to accept $375,000 from Circuit of the Americas LLC, to use for improvements to FM 812. Those upgrades would prepare the road for heavier traffic on race days at the as-yet-unbuilt racetrack.

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10:01 am
Fri December 31, 2010

Construction Begins On Austin's Formula One Site

A map shows where the F1 site will be in relation to the airport. Construction officially began yesterday.
Photo by KUT News

Heavy machinery is breaking ground on a plot of land near the airport that will soon host F1 racers from around the world. reports that race promoter Tavo Hellmund was there yesterday to oversee the official groundbreaking.

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11:20 am
Mon November 22, 2010

Firm That Made Cowboys Stadium Will Work on Austin's F1 Track

Dallas-based HKS, which designed and built this structure, among other sports complexes, will work on Austin's F1 track, scheduled to open in 2012.
Image courtesy Cliff Baise

HKS, an architectural firm in Dallas, announced this morning that it will lead the team assembled to build a new Formula One track in Austin. HKS designed and built the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington and the Dell Diamond in Round Rock.

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News Brief
5:28 am
Mon November 22, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 22, 2010

Closing arguments are today in former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's trial.
Photo by Erik Reyna for KUT News.

Lawyers to Make Final Pitches in DeLay's Trial

Closing arguments are set for today in Tom DeLay's money laundering trial in Austin.  Prosecutors say the former U.S. House majority leader helped illegally funnel $190,000 in corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.  DeLay's attorneys say the money swap at the center of the case was legal.  He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Dallas Firm to Design Formula 1

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