Funding fears ease over 2012 US grand prix

By on Friday, June 17, 2011

Jun.17 (GMM) Fears have eased that Austin's city council could scupper the 2012 US grand prix.

It emerged last week that if council members refuse to sign up as "endorsing municipality", the race organisers' $25 million in annual state funding for the Circuit of the Americas project is in doubt.

The council agreement would involve Austin contributing $4m per year to Texas' Major Events Trust Fund, even though the race organisers are pledging to pick up the bill.

Earlier reports had said the organisers were hoping the $4m would be funded by taxpayers in subsequent years, but it now emerges that they have agreed to pay up for the full decade of the formula one contract.

"This confirms what I've been saying all along -- that the city would be contributing no up-front money, and that the city would not be at risk," confirmed Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell.

Asked if the agreement will be formalised by the time the council meets next week, he is quoted by the Austin Chronicle: "I would hope so."

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