This author never thought they would agree. But the city council of Austin, Texas has in fact now agreed — after promoters consented to cover the city’s $4 million per year financial exposure — to endorse the U.S. Grand Prix scheduled for renewal in June 2012. The 5 to 2 vote in favor of the event came after weeks of lobbying by representatives of the Circuit of The Americas to craft an environmental agreement.
The endorsement makes the project eligible for $25 million a year in state subsidies to pay the rights fees to Formula One Management to schedule an F1 event in Texas. To receive state money from a Special Events Trust Fund, a political entity must organize a committee to oversee the expenditure of funds. The Austin council’s endorsement meant the organization will be formed, allowing the state comptroller to begin disbursing funds after final approval. According to the terms of the environmental deal, the Circuit of Americas will pay up to $15,000 for carbon offsets, such as planting trees, and invest $5 million for on-site research into green technology, among other projects.