Keep in mind, Austin is used to absorbing well over 100,000 people every other weekend during the fall months for UT Football. The Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium has a capacity of 100,119 (and routinely sells out) and is home to the nation's largest high-definition video display. Throughout the year, hundreds of thousands more flock to the state capitol: to experience the world's largest music, film and interactive festival, SXSW, which stretches over 10 days in March; to indulge in the biker lifestyle with over 40,000 bikers and over 200,000 motorcycle enthusiasts at the Republic of Texas Biker Rally in June; to see history being made while listening to the best musicians in the idyllic Zilker Park during the three-day outdoor Austin City Limits Music Festival in the fall, we can handle the increased visitors.
The new track is a different story, but that's not really as big of a deal as you think. Sure, it may cost $300MM but we've got major corporations in Texas, including Dell just up the road in Round Rock, probably excited about the international exposure and advertising potential this magnificent race has to offer.
In addition, our city council has lots of experience dealing with mega-million dollar projects like the new Samsung and AMD Headquarters, as well as many other big name operations. These kinds of projects require major investment but also tax incentives to attract other businesses with the intention to bring in residents and tourism to grow the economy. The city council has handled these projects with careful discretion to maintain local support while attracting the investment in the area.
Keep you pants on, this isn't our first Rodeo!