Psyched for F1 Weekend in Austin
An old friend of mine likes to point out that Austin re-invents itself every seven years. I’ve thought a lot about that concept and I think it provides a good framework to digest the Central Texas landscape. If so, then Circuit of the Americas nicely embodies the current seven year cycle.
Yes, Circuit of the Americas is massive in size. Getting to the venue is a challenge — the roads are too small for the scale of traffic, public transportation options are minimal, and parking options are likewise insufficient. But, once these obstacles are overcome, the onsite experience is pretty neat. Moreover, who can argue with the character of the track itself — the unique layout of this structure mirrors the unique personality of the city to which it is home. Although whether Texas taxpayers should have been tasked with funding this unique layout is another question for another post.
The signature event at Circuit of the Americas is the F1 USGP race, the 2016 version of which occurs this weekend. Personally, this is one of my favorite times of the year in Austin. The upscale energy and vibe that F1 brings to the city is very different than what happens during SXSW or ACL or RTX or AFF or any number of other festival-related events that call the city home. But Austin traditionally celebrates different, so I very much appreciate the change of pace. I also appreciate what F1 has done to both expand and reinforce the concept of Austin as an international hub of innovation.
Whether this change of pace will survive longterm in Central Texas, who knows. If not, something else will eventually emerge to fill this gap. The fact that the city continually changes, morphs, evolves and improves strongly reflects the creative culture that is our number one asset.