Austin's Circuit of the Americas hasn't confirmed that the racetrack's 10-year Formula 1 contract has been renewed for the 2022 season, but signs continue to point to yes as the waitlist builds for the possible 2022 race.
While COTA has yet to release its own tickets, refundable deposits for $100 general admission, $250 reserved seats or a $500 shared hospitality deposit can be made now and will go toward tickets when they say they will officially drop in early 2022. Unaffiliated tickets listed on Vivid Seats start at $433 and peak at nearly $8,000 for the race, which brings hundreds of thousands into Austin each year and comes packed with star-studded performances, adrenaline-inducing face-offs and plenty of fanfare to the region every fall.
Although the USGP was included in Formula 1's 2022 season schedule released in October, many worried that the race was 'F1 and done' in the state capital as the tight-lipped COTA leadership continued to list the deal as pending. The 2022 preliminary schedule cited that the race would be "subject to contract."
The track's initial 10-year contract ended after the possibly record-breaking 2021 Grand Prix race in late October. And while COTA chairman Bobby Epstein said he was hopeful that a new contract would be secured, some said the odds were stacked against them: each race requires a hefty $25 million in funds from the state of Texas, which has threatened to halt spending before and hasn't determined if the top-flight race sufficiently boosts the economy.
And a new track getting buzz in Miami added to complications—in COTA's contract with Texas' Major Events Reimbursement Program, the state said it would only provide funding if the USGP remained the only Formula 1 race in the United States.
But Epstein and crew weren't going down without a fight. Epstein, who lauded the long-awaited 2021 race as the "biggest event on the planet this year," seemed to pull through as an estimated record-breaking 400,000 attendees walked through COTA's gates for the 2022 race. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport felt the weight of hundreds of thousands of tourists pouring in as well, breaking attendance records during the USGP weekend.
And with growing interest in North America—aided by a heated battle between rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton and Netflix docuseries "Drive to Survive"—new enthusiasm was pumped into the COTA project.
Epstein said on Oct. 22 that he was "highly confident" that the track's contract would be renewed, but as of Wednesday, Nov. 24, he told Austonia that no updates had been made on the deal.
If the hints prove true, the 2022 race will take Austin by storm once again Oct. 20-23, 2022.
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Despite a 2-0 deficit, there was a pot of gold for Austin FC after all as it celebrated its annual Pride Night with rainbows and a 2-2 comeback draw to FC Dallas Saturday night.
After three FC Dallas losses last season, the Dallas derby draw marks the first time Austin FC has tied against its Copa Texas rival. Austin continues to edge over FC Dallas as it sits at 3rd in the MLS West.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the match:
A somber start
Decked out in colorful hues for LBGTQ+ Pride, Verde fans started the match on a somber note as they held up banners to take a stand against gun violence before the match.
As the national anthem began, fans held up banners with the names of each child that was killed in the Uvalde school shooting and a plea to "end gun violence."
The supporters' section was also dotted with Pride flags and a "Bans off Our Bodies" banner in protest of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
FC Dallas earns a 2-0 lead
That sober tone continued onto the pitch. With midfielder Daniel Pereira's absence due to a red card, the Verde and Black lost two goals to FC Dallas by the 70th minute of play.
FC Dallas played it sneaky for the first half of the match, giving Austin FC plenty of room to hold possession as it waited to strike on a Verde error. That mentality proved dangerous for Austin as Dallas' Paul Arriola took advantage of Brad Stuver's deflection to score the first goal of the night in the 57th minute of play.
Dallas struck once more as Brandon Servant pushed past the Verde line to score the second goal of the match.
Austin FC strikes back
But energy quickly returned to Austin's favor thanks to Designated Player Sebastian Driussi, who scooted past several FC Dallas defenders alongside Moussa Djitte to snag an unlikely first goal for Austin.
A full Verde comeback
Austin's subs proved deadly as momentum returned to the home team toward the end of the match. A well-placed cross from Nick Lima—and a diving header from a fresh-legged Danny Hoesen—helped the team secure the draw with a second Verde goal in the 84th minute of play.
Hoesen, who was Austin's first starting striker last season, has now scored two goals with the team after a yearlong injury stuck him on the bench.
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Hours following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion, on Friday, about 1,000 people gathered in Republic Square with signs calling for change.
The rally, organized by the group Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights Texas, started at the federal courthouse on Republic Square on Friday at 5 p.m. before the crowd marched to the Texas Capitol. More protests are expected to ensue over the weekend.
People showed up with all types of signs like Mindy Moffa holding up, "Keep your filthy laws off my silky drawers."
Austin joined cities across the country that saw protests for a women's right to an abortion after the ruling.
According to a recent UT poll, 78% of Texas voters support abortion access in most cases.
Sabrina Talghade and Sofia Pellegrini held up signs directed at Texas laws. A Texas trigger law will ban all abortions from the moment of fertilization, starting 30 days after the ruling. When state legislators passed the trigger law last summer, it also passed laws for more protection of firearms, including the right to open carry without a permit.
Lili Enthal of Austin yells as around 1,000 Texans marched to the Texas Capitol.
From the Texas Capitol, Zoe Webb lets her voice be heard against the Supreme Court ruling.
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