US Grand Prix ticket sales boosted by Netflix F1 series
Circuit Of The Americas chairman Bobby Epstein is expecting the largest ever attendance for this season’s United States Grand Prix, partly thanks to the Formula 1 Netflix series ‘Drive to Survive’.
The 2018 race saw an attendance of 263,160 fans across the weekend – including 111,580 on race day – which represented the fourth-highest attendance of the F1 season.
Sales are already up year-on-year for the 2019 event and Epstein is already looking to build more grandstands around the 3.4mile circuit to accommodate the increase in fans.
Epstein believes the Netflix series has exposed the world of F1 to more people and given them a taste of what the series has to offer.
“We are on track to have the biggest attendance of any race so far – the reserved seats already sold out in July. We are thinking of where we can build new grandstands to accommodate more fans,” Epstein told ESPN.
“There’s a lot of reasons for that – we have the music entertainment element which has been a huge help [Pink and Imagine Dragons will play concerts during race weekend], but the fact we have built a base here at COTA is massive. We have established a good history, made it a tradition to come and race here.
“Looking beyond that, the Netflix series has been the biggest boost for US fans we have had in terms of ticket sales. All our surveys on new customers suggest it’s had a huge impact and a big benefit to F1. It really was a stroke of genius to get that put on.
“It’s why we broadened what was offered on a weekend, in order to bring different people to the event, but the Netflix series has reached people we might never have reached otherwise.”
Epstein is also in discussions with F1 to extend the circuit’s current deal with a short-term extension beyond 2021.
“I think a shorter deal is better for both parties, you don’t want to get locked into something that you don’t like down the line. We also can never be sure how the event or how the sport will evolve over the next few years,” he added.
“What I will say is, I think there will be an F1 race at COTA for as long as the track is there, that’s the benefit of building a permanent facility.”