Circuit of the Americas releases race weekend transit plan


by MORGAN CHESKY / KVUE News and Photojournalist JUSTIN TERRY

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 9 at 8:18 PM

AUSTIN -- It's a logic problem most would rather skip. Transport 120,000 people crammed in an already crowded city to a race the world will be watching.

In Elroy Jason Anderson doesn't have the exact answer, but he has a solution of his own.

"We're basically catering to people's needs," said Anderson. "What they want is camping and they want to be close to the race."

They want to be really close. The track's just a quarter mile from his brand new F1 Nightly Campground.

"It's doing great," Anderson said. "We're booking up from people all over the world."

Still most will rough it downtown, miles from the track, where circuit officials have a plan. It's a study in transportation, a plan put together by the same people who put on the Kentucky Derby, NBA Finals, even the Superbowl.

"Plan on at least an hour to 90 minutes to get there and that's just being realistic," said COTA spokeswoman Julie Loignon. 

If you don't want to drive, there's a shuttle for you - about 450 of them.

Local ticket holders are asked to park and ride from the Travis County Expo Center which will be free. Out-of-towners may have to pay to park downtown but will find shuttles near 15th and Trinity Streets.

A block away at Scholz Bier Garten, the one weekend without a UT game now looks a lot better.

"Unexpected large crowds, we've kind of figured how to get on top of that," said manager Erin Rourke.

"It's going to be pretty big," said Anderson. "But I think after we get through the first race it's going to pave the way through 2013 and the years to come for us to have a positive experience."

Come race weekend, organizers say shuttles will start running as early as 7 a.m. and go until 7 in the evening.

The hope is that everyone clears out of the track and takes part in the festivities downtown following the races.