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COTA Refinances Circuit of the Americas

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COTA Refinances Circuit of the Americas

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Austin, TX – One day after The Circuit of the Americas announced that it would not be hosting the ESPN X Games beyond 2016, COTA reported that they had completed an $81 million debt refinancing.

According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange commission, the $81 million in capital was raised from 18 investors, and the financing was done “in connection with a business combination transaction such as a merger, acquisition or exchange offer.”

For months now, there has been speculation that COTA’s racetrack/concert venue has been seeking a buyer. Circuit of the Americas owners reportedly tried unsuccessfully to sell the venue last year to a Florida-based company which owns several racetracks around the U.S., according to Motorsport.com.

COTA has struggled with decreasing attendance numbers for the U.S. Grand Prix, year over year, since the inaugural race was held in 2012.
In 2015, the US Grand Prix at COTA hit another streak of bad luck when violent weather and heavy rains saturated the track over the race weekend.

In addition, a change by the new Texas governor’s administration in how attendance was calculated led to a reduction in the state funding from $25 million to approximately $19.5 million for the venue.

The Formula 1 US Grand Prix, the Red Bull MotoGP of the Americas and the ESPN X Games are all eligible for major state reimbursement funds. However, with the new administration it’s not known how the calculation of those funds will be impacted.

The Circuit of the Americas recently won an appeal of the property taxes they were assessed, lowering their property tax burden by approximately $14 million over three years. That savings will reportedly be used for track and facility improvements, according to track management.

The next major event at COTA is the Red Bull MotoGP of the Americas, scheduled for April 8-10, 2016.

Alan Pease

Alan Pease is our Central Texas correspondent, covering city, county and state government, as well as all that's taking place at the Circuit of the Americas. Alan is a long time automotive and motorcycle industry professional, and covered the approval, development and opening of the Circuit of the Americas for Autoweek magazine. Prior to writing for Autoweek and txGarage Alan designed and executed over 350 individual press introductions, drive routes, and ride-and-drive events for BMW cars, BMW Motorcycles, MINI Cooper, Aston Martin, Jaguar Cars, and several General Motors divisions. Press introductions took him across the entire United States (including Alaska), as well as Canada and the United Kingdom. Alan also raced in the Inaugural Iron Butt Rallye, riding as a Factory Rider for BMW Motorcycles. He finished the 10 day, 10,000 mile solo rider race tied for 1st place. He lives in Austin, Texas, and can be reached by email at reachalanpease@gmail.com.

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