The 2012 United States Grand Prix at the new Circuit of The Americas has been voted as 'Sports Event of the Year' by the 2013 SportsBusiness Journal/Daily Business Awards.
More than 265,000 fans attended the event, which took place over the weekend of 16-18 November at the brand new $400m sports and entertainment complex close to the city of Austin. The venue, which had been the subject of various delays and complications during its gestation, opened just days before its first multi-day, international event, but produced a thrilling grand prix and was warmly welcomed by the F1 fraternity.
Circuit president and CEO Steve Sexton noted the many challenges that had to be overcome to complete the state-of-the-art facility, assemble a team of professionals to manage and operate the venue, and successfully reintroduce F1 to the United States in just a matter of months.
“From the very beginning, there was some doubt whether our project would happen, but we hustled and we had a great team and a great group of owners behind us the whole way,” he noted as he collected the award, “We embarked on a nine-month journey, pulled the construction together, pulled the race off amidst a lot of complicated logistics—and had a great group of fans. I'm really proud of the team that pulled this off.”
Since the start of 2013, the Circuit of the Americas has successfully conducted three further motorsports events - the Grand-Am of The Americas, the Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas and last weekend's V8 Supercars Austin 400 – to which will be added the combined ALMS/WEC event in September and the return of F1 for its penultimate round of the season in November. The venue has also opened the Austin360 Amphitheatre, which recently hosted the Dave Matthews Band in the sixth of 15 concerts booked for its inaugural season.