Posted on October 23, 2012 at 6:31 AM
Tuesday, Oct 23 at 10:15 AM
AUSTIN -- The Circuit of the Americas will open next weekend to the public. Travis County Commissioners unanimously approved a 5K event at the track for Nov. 3. An estimated 5,000 to 10,000 people are expected run in the race.
COTA officials say the crowd will vary depending on whether an open house event is also approved for Nov. 3. During Tuesday’s vote commissioners gave tentative approval. COTA must first secure a Certificate of Compliance for its grandstand and other buildings from the Travis County Fire Marshals before opening the buildings to the public.
An inspection is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, followed by a second inspection on Wednesday.
“I think we will probably know by this coming Wednesday afternoon if we'll be able to issue a certificate of compliance for the structure. Typically we will go and we'll do one inspection and we'll find some minor issue, they'll correct those issues and we go back and do a follow-up inspection before we issue the certificate,” said Travis County Fire Marshal Hershel Lee.
If the certificate is approved COTA expects 5,000 participants in the 5K run and another 5,000 to attend the open house. Those invited would include runners and ticket holders to the F1 Grand Prix along with invited guests. If the certificate is not granted by Nov. 1, COTA officials say they will cancel the open house and instead host the 5K run only.
As part of the permitting process Tuesday morning, COTA officials presented commissioners with a Mass Gathering Permit request. It included plans for the race, security and transportation surrounding the event. COTA is expected to pay for the cost of police, fire and EMS.