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“Inaugural MotoGP Race”

Circuit of The Americas
Ranked #12 of 321 things to do in Austin
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Ball Ground, Georgia
Level Contributor
56 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Inaugural MotoGP Race”
Reviewed April 25, 2013

We attended the MotoGP race at COTA last weekend and were overall pleased with the track. We had general admission tickets, since it was our first trip and I didn't have enough enough information to choose a grandstand for seating. Coming to the track Friday, we were surprised to find that our set parking pass for Lot F was not beneficial since the lot was closed due to rain the days leading up to race weekend. The lot attendants and police helping with traffic were not aware and so traffic was very backed up Friday morning. Once we got to Lot F, we were directed to another lot. When we got up to the lot, were told we couldn't park there and had to go around to the back of the circuit to the cash only lots. The attendant there was not prepared for the influx of cars who had Lot F passes and that took a few minutes before we were allowed to park. It ended up taking us 30-45 minutes each day to park - the first morning because of the chaos and the others because of traffic (and we tried making sure we were there 30 minutes before track activity started). The track facility is very nice, very big. I didn't see a lot of shuttle options to get around the track, which was fine because we wanted to see the whole track and walked it. For a GP race, Friday is just a practice day. We were surprised we couldn't access grandstands just to see views, which would have helped for deciding on seats for future races. They really need to have more restroom options around the track and the food concessions need better staffing to handle the lines quicker, we missed the last 10 laps of the Moto2 race because of the concession lines. The facility did a great job setting up. Vendor set up could have been designed better for flow, it made it hard to go to vendor tents when the lines were very, very long and packed with people.

You cannot take coolers into the track, but you can take sealed water bottles in. While that's great, it's hard to carry around while you wander the track. I'd love to see that change, $8 beers, $5.50 for water and $5 for a smaller size hot dog hurt the pocket book.

We will be back again to see races - be it MotoGP, V8 or F1. It's a great facility and we really enjoyed it.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank greasemonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed April 25, 2013

Cant wait till next year!! Fabulous track!! Just need to get the parking lot fees lowered, $30 a day is outrageous.

Visited April 2013
Thank nancyaustintx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
1 review
“Great track design and race, but can the organization improve?”
Reviewed April 25, 2013

A brand new facility, looks great, nice track design and pretty good race weekend, but...

Stay: no hotel nearby, and if you stay in town no shuttle service and cab fare from Austin are ridiculous

Parking: 20-30mins walk from the track for the daily asked price of $20-30 is too much, and the main lot (F) has not even the pavement. It was closed on Friday cause of mud/rain, no kidding

Road to: over 100k people facility, and no major upgrade to connecting roads?

Food/drinks: not allowed from outside (?!?), extremely expensive ($10-14 for a burger you've to made yourself) and questionable quality

Track: great design, fast and with multiple/different turns and difficulties. It looks drivers like it too

Stands: both turn 15 and turn 1 looks temporarily built and have no protection or shade. Would that change after the first year, or that the level of expectation a visitor must consider? If rain is not frequent here, sun and heat are

So, I understand this is NOT a non-profit organization, but charging in that way and with this low level of service will push the fans somewhere else: Indianapolis? Laguna Seca?
Locals will go there anyway probably, but the international fans have the selection in their hands and they compare with the European tracks mostly...

My 2 cents...

Visited April 2013
Thank iceman11adv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, MD
Level Contributor
34 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“World-class track”
Reviewed April 24, 2013

This is simply an amazing track. There is no track in the world that can rival this track for its layout, seating, and spectator areas. You can see just about every corner, and the Turn 1 and Turn 15 grandstands let you see multiple. Our tickets were in the Turn 1 grandstand, and we could see the start, turns 1 and 2, and the back portion of the track. We walked around the track, and just about every corner can be seen from a grandstand or from a general admission hillside. Since this was a MotoGP weekend, there were plenty of vendors, and the variety of motorcycle gear was really good. There are plenty of hotels in the Austin area, and the track is 5 minutes from a major airport. In short, I have never seen a venue in the US like this one that rivals the best tracks in Europe, and in some ways, is far better. The staff were courteous and friendly, and in many cases, went out of there way to be helpful. The day of the race, Red Bull had a stunt plane doing aerobatics, stunt riders in front of the grandstands, and parachutists to entertain the crowd. There were also plenty of TV screens that covered the race, and they were active all weekend. As far as facilities, the bathrooms were clean, and there were plenty of food options.

Had this review been just about the track and the MotoGP race I attended, it would have been 5 stars. However, there were first issues with parking and transportation. Parking on the first day was simply awful. Parking passes sold out long before the event, so we had to find a cash lot. However, the cash lots were not marked. Some lots were closed, so we drove around in a traffic jam until we found the correct lot on the far side of the track. Even the parking staff had no idea what was going on. Shuttles were provided to grandstands early in the day, but late in the, none were to be found. The cash lots cost $30 each day, so I expected better preparation. Again, the staff tried to be helpful, but they knew little more than we did. Ultimately, there was too much evidence that track management woefully underestimated the demand for parking and failed to prepare for the attendance. Demand for food and merchandise was also terribly under-estimated. We waited in line for 40 minutes for lunch on Sunday before giving up and going back to our seats. There is also little transportation within the track, so if you want to go to the far side of the track, or to another turn, you are walking, so bring good shoes (the grassy areas are more rocky than grassy). I have to expect that next year track management will be better prepared for the crowds.

In all, once we figured out where to park, and how to get around, we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Visited April 2013
Thank firehorse_racing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Growing pains, but this place is a gem”
Reviewed April 24, 2013

This was out third time at COTA (F1, Grand AM and now Moto GP).

I'll start with the positives:

1. The track itself is amazing

2. The grandstands are setup so you can see quite a bit of the track.

3. The people are incredibly friendly.

Now the negatives:

1. Traffic was a pain if you didn't get there early (we did).

2. Parking lot (F in particular) needs to be paved.

3. For an event expecting 50,000 people they should have done shuttles like F1 (which was great)

4. Food is expensive and you can't bring in your own. This isn't unique to COTA.

5. Need another pedestrian bridge, maybe over the straight between T11 and T12.

I've read comments here about some nasty people - not sure who that was, but get their name and report them. The biggest comment I hear from people who were new to TX and COTA was how friendly everyone was. If there is someone who isn't living up to that, then I would pick up the phone (keyboard) and pass on their name.

Also, people should realize that food will be crazy expensive. It could be worse - go to a Cowboys game and pay $60 for a small pizza. I paid $15 for a turkey leg at lunch that kept me full all day long. Not cheap but not exactly Ritz-Carlton money either.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank 330cic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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