AUSTIN, Texas — If racing isn't really your thing and you're not big on concerts either, Circuit of the Americas (COTA) leaders are touting another reason to get you out to the complex: an amusement park.
"We're building a massive amusement park that I hope opens in '23," COTA Chairman Bobby Epstein told KVUE's media partners at the Austin American-Statesman. "We'll have 30-plus rides and two mega-coasters. One of them will be the first of its kind in the country. It'll be an amusement park to rival any other."
During NASCAR weekend, COTA already offered a kiddie park that included a Ferris wheel, carousel, zip-lining, a NASCAR ride and a go-kart track.
"We've got a lot of room out here, and we'll keep adding events," Epstein told the Statesman.
According to the Statesman's report, a COTA study said the 1,500-acre complex has had a $5 billion impact on the Austin area over its 10 years.
In February, Epstein signed a new five-year contract with Formula 1. He told the Statesman that he expects MotoGP to return for at least five more years and he is working with Speedway Motorsports to bring NASCAR back in 2023.
According to the Statesman's report, the U.S. Grand Prix drew record crowds last October, with 140,000 on race day and north of 300,000 for the weekend. This year's race on Oct. 23 is already a sellout.
In addition, the MotoGP international bike crowd will be at COTA in April. The Statesman reports that race has drawn as many as 70,000, while NASCAR was in the 50,000 range.
"We'll have more than 400 events this year," Epstein told the Statesman. "Our amphitheater has 40 concerts lined up. Between us and the Moody Center opening up downtown, this should be the best year ever for a music fan. You've got nearly a two-year backlog for touring acts, and they all want to play Austin. There'll be about 100 shows in the city this year between us and Moody."
For more from Epstein, read the Statesman's full report.
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