A lawsuit in America… how predictable

It seems that Texans these days go for their lawyers faster than they go for their six guns. This is all rather predictable and simply adds to the worldwide image that Americans love to sue one another.

Opponents to the state funding of the forthcoming race in Austin, Texas, have filed a lawsuit against state Comptroller Susan Combs. The suit was filed in the District Court in Travis County and claims that Combs has committed to paying the money without being legally authorized to do so. The money comes from a fund that is administered by the comptroller’s office and is used to attract major sporting events to Texas. The authorities have responded by saying that all necessary guidelines were followed and that the race is being inaugurated because it will create employment and economic development.

73 thoughts on “A lawsuit in America… how predictable

  1. what would we do without a blog that re-reports news in a terse and biased fashion hours and hours after it breaks? Indispensable.

  2. Good for them. If the public servants wish to vent their grievances in a manner that might attract the attention of those who otherwise ignore, why not?

  3. I am not surprised by this news at all …. At city hall this morning there were 265 members of the public in support of the race and 25 against …

  4. This will just cost the tax payers even more money, although from a different pot of tax payers money.
    I see Group Lotus lost in court again today, another American who can’t get his own way so decides to take legal action.

  5. Joe,

    The amazing thing is that it took this long to file. The race was announced ages ago.

    Scott Bloom

    1. 6 wheeled Tyrrell,

      Let me know the day I do something right in your opinion. I will die of shock…

  6. Joe, it may be the green-ish ones, but it is likely some folks who espouse fiscal conservatism, not wanting to see govt subsidize the race, since even thought she-the comptroller has authority to spend the money, it doesn’t mean that the money used is in essence being taken from something else more vital or politically important than a one weekend race, or few weekends worth of races.
    I recall some of the tone relating to whether or not the BBC would still be carrying F1, or the validity of a govt entity competing with a corporate broadcaster, and the best use of tax money.
    I think although there are plenty of overzealous lawyers in the US, the comment comes off as a little more Churlish than I would like to think you are. (basically a cheap shot, when you seem better than that)

  7. Well if Lincs county council decided to pay Bernie £16m to have the GP at Cadwell Park given their previous record, I would not be surprised, I would be miffed that my hard earned and taxed council tax is being given away to someone who blatantly does not need it. Then start to wonder what we will be missing in terms of services from LCC over the coming year maybe the pothole filling program will be cut. (Now half way through the year and only a few random selected death-traps have caught the eye of the YTS boy (highly skilled transport maintenance operative) with bucket of tarmac/asphalt who may hurl half a spadeful in the general direction of the hole.)
    So maybe one cannot blame the Austinites for challenging the spending of their dough on some un-american circus which they did not vote for. On the other hand the Americans are known to use legal process as an instrument in their own self promotion, it seems that all Americans have to earn enough to support a lawyer, an analyst and maybe a “life coach”, they must wonder how we manage to exist in the main without any of those.

  8. More than 1,300 people are currently employed from construction workers to office workers.

    When I was there earlier, there was two diametrically opposed groups of people, those that see it as an economic opportunity that could generate $300 million for the regional economy, and those that simply don’t want ‘Euro Trash’ Formula 1 (their words) at any cost. They’re not opposed to the Texas Major Event Trust Fund money being spent on other sports, just to it being spent on ‘Euro Trash’ F1.

    F1 fans can be found at the Cool River Cafe … Assuming they haven’t been run out of town by now 😉

  9. Isn’t Texas a favourite locale for very high jury awards, place of some interesting intellectual property ding dongs? If so, i’d draw fast, in those parts. If any confused local europeans missed it, you don’t pay the defence’s fees even if you loose a load of tosh argument. Sometimes, this even works, civically, because what chance a Brit suing any local department? Not always apple bobbing in a deep fry vat.

    But surely Business As Normal?

    I think we should have this Susan Combs on stage before the race . . . oh, oops, I read “Sean”. Still, it is the silly season??

    – j

  10. How is the enforcement of laws regarding public financing anything other than a good thing.

    Putting aside how absolutely lovely it would be for Texas tax payers to host the richest sport in the world…obviously

  11. Who can blame them…

    The taxpayers of Texas will be forking over at least $25 million a year to a bunch of people who are already rich beyond most people’s imaginations…

  12. I agree with some of the others…. F1 is leaching off public $ so that’s what was always going to happen. I also see some cross payments that in the real non-gov world would look a LOT like bribes & corruption, so maybe that’s the next round – dunno

    Keep out of the trough and it would be a mute point. F1 should be able to get by without it and it’s a shame that the event organisers get so little of the money in F1 they have to resort to public handouts.

    1. Rob,

      May I respectfully suggest that you look at economic impact studies of any Grand Prix city and see the effect that the sport has on growth, employment and direct income. F1 is not leeching off anything. It is a great opportunity for a city that is wiling to embrace what is a truly world class event. If the people of Austin are happy with ostrich races and rodeos that is fine, F1 will go somewhere else until one day it finds somewhere where its value is appreciated. The event organisers are putting in vast sums of money building the facility and it is only right and fair that the state, which will reap the benefits of the sport, should make an investment as well. Besides the Major Events Trust Fund paid out a rumoured $31.2 million to help pay for the cost of attracting the Super Bowl XLV to Dallas in February and money was also invested to get the NBA All-Star game at the Cowboys Stadium. Did anyone sue the state government over these choices, or is it simply because the folks who are complaining do not understand anything about the advantages of Formula 1? They may not consider it important but F1 can make people all over the world say “Austin Texas” instead of “Austin Powers” or “Austin Allegro” or “Where?”

  13. Texas has been one of the better states for economic growth in the last decade. But yes, there are too many lawsuits in this country. Of course how many criminal investigations of Williams did Italy have after the death of Ayrton Senna? And didn’t Max Moseley sue papers that broke stories of him fooling around with dominatrixes?

  14. 1) I’ve never sued anyone in my entire life, and can barely afford proper legal representation when I’m on the hook for something ‘criminal’
    2) Texas’ gov. has been talking up the ‘Texas miracle’ all over the rest of the country (might be runnin for president) – he’d like to promote the image that TX is doing just swell, thankyouverymuch. A lawsuit over public funding is the last thing he’ll want to see right now
    3) I still think operatives over at NewsCorp will doing some shady things to crater the value of F1 before purchase – and, yeah, Texas politicians have been regular guests on FOX news programs over the years. There is a lot of money being circulated among the players in TX. Nobody is required to say where it comes from.

    Where’d my tinfoil hat go?

    We all know this is a great investment of dollars no matter where it comes from, assuming the races work out and people come attend. Anyone who’d ever sat through a basic economics course could see that. Texas and US politicians are acting quite bi-polar right now, and it’s a wonder things still go on day to day.

    To finish, I’d like to mention a law the Texas Governor has put forth, which would in effect cause the TSA (trasportation security Authority) to stop operations in Texas for legal liability reasons. No TSA, no air flights leaving Texas, at all. Sure you could get there, but you couldn’t fly out. This is how things are done in Texas.

    The rest of US (quite literally) are not nearly this insane. I hope you’ll remember this teensy fact, Joe.

  15. I think a little context would be good before branding Americans as overly litigious. With all the budget issues at the state and national level in the U.S., I do not find it surprising at all that people are questioning the use of tax dollars.

    We in the U.S. do not have universal healthcare, unlike, as I understand it, most Eurpoeans do. Draconian measures are being proposed that would reduce the social safety net provided by programs like Medicare and Social Security. Education is typically short of funding. We can’t afford these things, but we (I’m speaking for Texans, which I am not) can somehow afford to subsidize F1 in Austin?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to F1, quite the contrary. But, again, the economic issues in the U.S. suggest the money could be used for other things. It isn’t surprising to see some citizens objecting.

    1. John M,

      Yes, I am sure you are right, but the world thinks of America as being over-litigious and this simply compounds the image. See also my reply to Rob for the real value of F1.

  16. @rpaco – “if Lincs county council decided to pay Bernie £16m to have the GP at Cadwell Park”

    Oh my, make this happen! Nah, it obviously wouldn’t work, but its a wonderful vision in my head!

    @ryan – “what would we do without a blog that re-reports news in a terse and biased fashion hours and hours after it breaks? Indispensable.”

    Some of us enjoy terse and biased thank you very much. We are big enough and ugly enough to read someone’s views on a blog (isn’t that what blogs are for?) and still make our own minds up. It’s even more fun when Joe tells us off when he doesn’t like our comments – its all part of the fun! Better to get passionate views I sometimes might disagree with than bland sites simply repeating press releases. (And I counter anyway there’s some bloody good insight on this blog)

    1. Chris P,

      I am not telling anyone off – unless they are unpleasant. I am simply trying to inform and amuse. And, I am pretty liberal when it comes to comments. I allow a lot of stuff that most blogs would never have…

    1. Rob,

      All cities do such things and all cities find that there are gains made. In the case of a place like Melbourne the authorities do not allow for any F1 related income to be counted unless there is a direct link to the spending (ie local sales taxes). The protesters there always mention that the event costs the city X amount but they never include any revenues that is not directly linked to the event. This does not mean that there is no effect. If there was no economic effect there would be no logic in any city in hosting races. Instead there are always places wanting Grands Prix. What is needed most of all in Austin is an education for the locals in what F1 will do for the city. Most political opposition to F1 races, in my experience, are related to local political fights, rather than because the race is not great value for money. And if you don’t believe me, why not ask the powers that be in Austin to get on a plane to Adelaide, its sister city in Australia, which hosted the Australian GP back in the 1980s and 1990s. I think you will find that the people in Adelaide would quietly probably admit that the dumbest thing the city council ever did was to allow Melbourne to come in and steal the race…

  17. What would you do if you lost your job due to cutbacks in state funding? Would seem that any funding of any race would be frivolous.

    “A lawsuit filed by three Austin citizens who oppose the use of state funding could disrupt preparations for the US GP.
    One of the plaintiffs is a teacher, Ewa Siwak, who lost her job in a recent round of spending cutbacks.”

    They also claim that “offering public funds after the site selection has been made is an illegal gift for private purpose.”
    It’s also claimed that the incremental increase in state and local tax income derived from the F1 event – and which justifies the use of the METF funding – has not been properly calculated.

    1. Rudi,

      It really depends on how you look at the way that economies are revived. Is it best to pour money into state businesses that are not cost-effective, or is it better to try to attract more investment and in turn generate growth which will create more employment and more tax revenues and thus create a stronger economy which will be able to afford better state services in the future. They are simply two economic models.

  18. Joe… That was a poor choice of words on my part – just in a hurry and didn’t type more pc :-). Oh sure, not disputing the advantages in broader terms (hey Sydney is now 1 or 2 syllables in the US instead of 3 or worse but there was a big price for those games to start correcting the US pronunciation:-) ).

    As to the Gridiron (I might live in the US now but cannot stretch it to call it football), Basketball, Olympics, (Nascar) e.t.c. – I find that equally objectionable….. Just as I do when they use it to subsidize a movie company to film something in the state/city.

    We just have to disagree on the use of public funds for professional sports that can clearly carry their own weight (or should be able to if the organiser had a fair shake at the profits in the case of F1).

    Now if it’s for the Special Olympics or even non professional sports (do they still exist?) and other cultural type stuff or alike then no real issue.

    Personally – F1 should be back at the Glenn IMO, but that would be unlikely with the funding model that has to be thrown at F1 now – I hope I am wrong longer term.

  19. For the people trying to follow… It appears there is two of us “Rob” posters 🙂 It caught me for a sec as well…..

  20. Joe

    That there are always 3rd world nations, middle eastern potentates and former eastern block cities APPARENTLY wanting races =/= having races good for all cities anywhere or everywhere else.

    It is a HUGE leap to expect, in this economy and political climate that a local US government write a massive check to host a “non-native” sport, place even $1 in the vacuum cleaner tube that leads to a crook like Ecclestone’s wallet, is not done within the explicit letter of the law governing the use of such funds, supports the wealthiest sport on the planet (depending on how you measure it), become involved with the pyramid scheme of hosting fees that come with your city hosting a Grand Prix. etc…….

  21. Joe, I do not necessarily disagree with you, but there was no mention of the reason behind the suit. Spending 25 million when you lost your state job makes no sense to the person who lost their job. Whether the outcome is worth the investment, we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Honestly, for the racing circuit to to do it’s job by contributing to the economy it will have to live off more than the F1 race. I hope other events plan on racing there.

    1. Rudi,

      These people are not just plucking things out of the sky. They have a very well thought out business plan – but is that being widely reported in Austin.

  22. The business plan well thought out or not does not matter one bit if the government funds were not appropriately (legally) assigned to the project.

    Luckily we have courts to decide these thorny questions and don’t leave the up to motor sport bloggers,

    The other Rob

  23. Joe, I’m sure that the business plan is well thought out and as a general racing fan (most types) I hope the race is successful and I might even make it there one time. F1’s track record (or perception) seems to be, get the cash up front and leave when you want. Bernie, why don’t you make a real commitment and give the track a 10 year contract? ( at a fair deal)

  24. The payment is being viewed against the fact the as part of the Rick Perry Texas miracle they have had to cut billions from the budget. When folks look at the facts that teachers are being laid off and other social services are being cut then the money for the race looks like money wasted. No matter what the future economic benefits the people are concerned about the here and now. Not living in Texas I have no idea whether there have been discussions about how and why the money is being spent. Living in Florida where our governor has been cutting everything but is sending money to his rich buddies the same outcry would result if they were trying to have the race here.

    As far as litigation that is sometimes the only way to make the powers that be take notice. Of course we could cut litigation just by banning lawyers from advertising.

  25. Hey Joe appreciate your blog but I have to ask a question regarding the grand prix economic reports you mentioned.

    Is it like FIFA where in order to host an event they have to exempt F1 from local taxes? If I recall correctly other international events usually have a severe negative impact on the economy (see last World Cup) especially if the infrastructure if not already in place, due to such policies. In the World Cups case a lot of the money the local institutions would make hosting the event would be absorbed by the regulating body.

    If I recall correctly that isn’t the case with the Super Bowl. An event such as the Super Bowl will probably benefit more to a local economy than any motorsport (especially not F1, as it is arguably not as popular in the US as NASCAR, Indycar and maybe even Motocross). The windfall that comes with a major American sporting event is (in my mind at least) incomparable to F1.

    As for being a over-litigious society, I would like to say that I would rather live in a society where it is easy to file a suit rather than one that makes that hinders an individuals ability to right a civil wrong. And compared the system in England I’d say our tort system is much more strict. A suit like the one Max Mosley brought against the News Of The World would have been dismissed from an American court and the lawyer who filed the case would probably be disbarred for knowingly filing a frivolous lawsuit. I know I am rebutting your anecdote with another anecdote but as a law student I can say positively that a society that is overly litigious can be classified as a ‘good problem’.

    1. John Dix,

      Fact: The United States is reckoned to have 70 percent of the world’s lawyers and 4.5 percent of the world’s population. It is the most litigious society on earth.

      Six-shooter, n (military/firearms, gunnery, ordnance and artillery) US informal a revolver with six chambers. Also called six-gun.

      In order to understand the English you need a sense of humour. You do not seem to have one.

      Finally, you are a little off target too. I have lived in France for more than 20 years so I am not up to date on the state of British teeth. I do however probably smell of garlic and ride a bicycle.

      In the words of Austin Powers (who is rather more famous than Austin Texas (joke): “There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.”

  26. 3 news stories from the couple of weeks. Silverstone, despite having a sweetheart deal, loses money on the running on the British GP. Some tax payers in Texas are upset by their tax dollars being spent on the Austin GP. Bernie spends $100 million on a house for his daughter.
    If I, a life long F1 fan, sees something wrong with the above, how do you think it appears to people who have no interest in the sport?. No doubt there will be calls for the British Government to put money into the GP. Unfortunately they are busy making spending cuts to essential services at the moment.
    What I think will happen in the future, if the current situation continues, is governments in democracies will come under increasing pressure to withdraw funding for GPs while tinpot dictators who are totally unaccountable to their people will line up to have a GP in their country.
    If Nascar can run a national series that has more events, more competitors and better paid drivers without receiving $600 million a year in government subsidies then I fail to understand why F1 can’t.
    Bernie and CVC get $300 million a year of taxpayers money a year. I for one object greatly to this.

  27. @Jeff W

    The return on investment is on average 553%, that’s an economic profit of US$85 million per race.

    Some races make more, $221 million for Malaysia, and some make less $75 million for Canada.

    Specifically on Austin, and new vote is to take place, but not until after a new council member who is opposed to the Formula 1 project may be eligible to cast the deciding vote.

  28. rpaco,

    i think i found where your Lincs CC pothole budget went: right here!

    Just was getting thankful that the property boom calmed down so i didn’t have to listen to DIYers who had no clue how to hang a picture on 60NM concrete, now they’re tearing up the whole street scene. Blasted Olympics, enough space for a dozen F1 tracks, out of spare change, and not one to be seen, unless you count what a blind joyrider sees, the kind of which makes ambulances put their siren on just to warn them off at our crossroads . .

    Jacques,

    Isn’t it amazing, for all how America gets slagged off, they broadcast local government in action, whereas here we arrest anyone trying even to report local council meetings?

    – j

  29. @Karen.
    When the West Australian government looked at the cost of funding Rally Australia they concluded the benefits had been greatly over estimated.

  30. John D,

    Those so-called draconian measures about Social Security and Medicare are attempting to make those very non-solvent programs solvent. They are already out of money. Social Security has been used as a slush fund for decades; it’s not being used for its original purpose (as a SUPPLEMENTAL source of income).

    Obamacare is unconstitutional, not to mention very costly and is threatening new taxes/fees. This country is still in a deep recession (if having high unemployment is not an indication of recessions or depressions, I don’t know what is).

    I don’t know if this lawsuit is worthy to stand on its own two feet, but is the city of Austin paying for this?

    The Kansas Speedway was given tax breaks to build in Kansas City, Kansas, and it more than paid for itself. This depends out how self-sufficient the aforementioned track in Austin is.

  31. @Darek Witt

    Yes, Kansas City has been a success because they have a long term commitment from NASCAR consisting of 2 cup, 1 truck and 1 Nationwide race per year PLUS what are the sanction fees? If F1 were as reasonable, Spa, Hockenheim, Nuerburgring and Silverstone would be also be profitable.

    Let’s hope Austin does not get run over by the Bernie juggernaut. One race per year does not support a racing facility. Even Indy has more than the 500 now.

  32. ” but the world thinks of America as being over-litigious ”

    Joe Saward, spokesperson for the World now. I knew I was reading an informed blogger but who knew ey? What does the world think of England, France, Spain and Italy?

    1. John Dix Paintings,

      I like being this dumb. You get to spend your life living in Paris (not the one in Texas); doing a dream job, travelling the world with the F1 circus; writing occasional books and having a substantial following amongst fans of F1 – all of whom I presume by dint of appreciating what I do must therefore be dumber than I am.

      Folks, if any of you wish to offer Mr Dix any polite advice about how best to win friends and influence people, please feel free to do so.

      Now, where are the keys to my forklift… It is useful to hoist someone with his own petard.

  33. @Nick the Hippy

    But the Australian National Institute of Economic and Industry Research, concluded that the Australian F1 GP had a positive economic benefit for Melbourne and Victoria of $165.7 million.

    It all depends what you claim is an economic benefit, for some institutions it’s simply tax revenue, for others they include hotel occupancy and hire car usage, others go as far as to factor in things like extra linen usage and souvenirs bought.

    In Malaysia, a study by the Universiti Malaya showed that Malaysia gained US$144 million in foreign exchange from the F1 race in Sepang.

  34. No idea why Joe puts up with some of the abuse that is hurled on this site. Six guns and six shooters are the same thing.

  35. Joe about that 70% of the worlds lawyers stat….

    Afraid you’re quite wrong there

    Even counting only the 7 most lawerly per capita countries in the world the US has less than 50% of the total while making up 37 percent of the population.

    India alone (not one of that seven) has around one million lawyers which is roughly the same total as the US.

    1. Rob,

      I see you have been to Answers.com, as your stats are almost word for word. If these are right – and I see no reason to doubt them – I fell for a myth and there are no fact-checkers in the JS empire (!) to catch such a glitch. That will teach me to rely on the Internet for such things. However, they reckon that about 50 percent of the world’s lawyers are Americans. Not 70 percent, but interesting nonetheless.

      US: one lawyer per 265 people.
      Brazil: one lawyer per 326 people
      New Zealand: one lawyer per 391 people
      Spain: one lawyer per 395 people
      UK: one lawyer per 401 people
      Italy: one lawyer per 488 people
      Germany: one lawyer per 593 people
      France: one lawyer per 1,403 people

      The only point I was trying to make is that Americans have a lot of law suits in comparison to other nations. I would be amazed if that is not the case but I am happy to hear from someone who actually has bona fide numbers – purely from academic interest as this is still (I think) an F1 blog and I am not apparently allowed to have any views outside F1…

  36. Karen,

    Do you have a link to the report? It’s just that every time I see some mass windfall being estimated, it is usually not the case.

  37. A result having had the world’s biggest economy for the past ~century, also highest standard of living and per captia income, perhaps?

    I would imagine the lawyer stats for emerging world economic powers are rising rapidly.

    Who’d have thought Brazil or NZ would be so high up that list and France’s per person number be so much higher?

    I vaguely remember reading that Australians file more suits per capita…. but couldn’t readily find reference to it on web. Therefore I’ll decline from declaring it a fact. As you did yours.

  38. Joe,
    Wasn’t comparing F1 with WRC. I was making the point that cost benefit studies can be dodgy.
    @Rob. Have been checking news websites to find what disasters have happened in Chine, India, Indonesia, ect. A great many must have happened if the USA is now 37% of the worlds population. If you want to pull people up on using the wrong figures it is best if you use the right figures yourself.

  39. I honestly can’t say I blame some disgruntled citizens for filing suit. The normal processes for acquiring public money were bypassed to a degree, and with the economy in disarray (even in Texas), there will be a vocal opposition. The promoters don’t seem to have done a great job selling the idea to the general public; and Formula One’s reputation doesn’t do it any favors. I think if the project goes through, it could be great, but Formula One needs to make a bigger effort to help it succeed. The average Joe sees it as a snobby niche sport for rich foreigners.

    1. ChrisJ,

      Could one perhaps accept the concept that the average Joe may be wrong? Or that is an anti-demcratic thing to say?

  40. @Jeff W

    Contact the Australian National Institute of Economic and Industry Research, and/or the Universiti Malaya.

    Or Barry Hope, of Gulf Sport Racing LLC, or ING business consultancy about the return on investment.

  41. John Dix
    I find it interesting that you originally criticised Joe for the disgraceful slurs that Americans like suing each other and that people from Texas are quite fond of firearms. You said it was an ignorant comment and then went on to describe sixty million British people as being drunks with bad teeth and insulted a very well respected author and journalist by saying he was “too dumb to drive a forklift”.
    Maybe if you wanted to gauge Joe’s intelligence level compared to yours, you sholud read some of his books or go back through the previous posts on this blog, maybe you could see how well researched they are, and perhaps compare them with your own little offerings. If thats too much trouble though, you could always just go out and get a burger.

  42. Nick the Hippy
    Silverstone may lose money on the Grand Prix (although there may be a benefit overall in being recognised as the top UK track) but the point is the benefit to the region as a whole, not just the circuit. Hotels, restaurants, Helicopter pilots, taxi drivers, airports etc. all get increased income from a Grand Prix, and therefore generate more taxes. My feeling is (dodgy mid east places aside) if a Grand Prix wasn’t worth paying for, there wouldn’t be any.

  43. Joe, I agree that “the average Joe” is wrong. Unfortunately, the project has gotten some bad PR and people are skeptical of the benefits. It will all get smoothed over, and people will come from all over the Americas for the GP — attendance won’t be a problem. But I do think Formula One could really help itself by putting in a big effort to build public support around the event. Things like the LeMans drivers parade through the streets would be very cool, or waaay back, I remember one year Long Beach had the garage in an indoor arena, where we could watch the cars all being worked on. A month before the event, they could open the track to the public and do one of those corny F1 car vs street car comparisons to show the incredible performance differential. I know some of this is impractical, but it’s the type of things they should consider.

  44. I, a US lawyer, am a bankruptcy specialist. I’m not a litigator. If I were, I’d despise my work, I’d be regularly pulling all-nighters, and I’d be making lots more money. If JYS himself, whom I still idolize, asked me to represent him in a lawsuit, I’d (tearfully) say no. There are others like me.

    I read that when F1 wooed NYC to race the streets decades ago, the Sierra Club threatened to sue to block the project. Austin’s lawsuit should surprise no one, particularly if one views the vitriol poured out by local readers in the article-comments at statesman.com

    Did you hear about the terrorists who hijacked a jumbo-jet full of lawyers? They threatened to release one per hour until their demands were met.

  45. Joe, I get the point that there is a “multiplier” effect when a Grand Prix comes to a region. And the first race in Texas probably will be a sell out and the region will realize a lot of income.

    But, I want to point out that the show for the average fans is too expensive. When for similar amount of money you can take a family to a beach vaction for a week. If it was reasonable then races like Monza, Spain,,,, would fill up. So I probably won’t go until I get a larger bonus.

    Now, I realize my point is off topic. As for America being litigous so what? There are things I find peculiar about other countries but I don’t say anything to them.

    Take care…. and thanks for the blog and insight….

  46. Anthony,

    your comment almost brought tears to my eyes. So true! Litigation is no laugh, and heck, i only ever touched absolute slam dunks, the kind when everything in the book has been broken and the other side don’t even want to appear. Not second time anyhow 🙂

    Somewhere i have a tomb-like Word doc of lawyer jokes. There was one particular about how a lady marrying her tenth husband who had managed to retain her modesty, but chose the lawyer because she’d finally . . .

    Oblig Simpsons link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u9JAt6gFqM

    . . .

    Have to agree with Steve Selasky, an awful lot too.

    Maybe it’s just because we’re used to insane prices for everything over here, that F1 stays so European? What we need maybe for F1, is a billionaire buyer who actually just liked the sport. Yes, American, why not? Ours seem mainly to go hide, not go buy sports teams etc. Okay, whole other debate. Mark Cuban might be too much . . but someone must fancy the tax write – off . .

    I’m not even so sure America is that litigious. If you knew the incredible amount of extra mural, extra legal vexation which goes on over here, geez i get still threats of litigation, basically attempted extortion, from a case i closed years ago (finding the only path available to beat trumped up banking charges, avoiding that class action to no-where) time to time. Right now i have one part of a multitrack in County, and the best return date is “sometime next month”. They’re backlogged like crazy.

    p.s. for Anthony, we tried to copy the Chapter 10 / 11 plan here. Not really working. Amazing stigma attached to failure, still. It’s “la la la” all the way. If you do workouts / DIP financing stuff, you’d be a breath of fresh air if you came and lectured this lot a clue, regardless they should hear. Mind you, the vast majority of little companies we have are probably technically insolvent thrice a year. Our idea of “promoting business” seems to be “you don’t need to file accounts”. Zero, and i mean Zero, enforcement. And we have no district attorneys offices to take with up the duff ones. Oops, ranting, sorry.

    best from me, hope Austin will be good, got to be better than having two GPs in Spain . .

    – john

  47. Nick the hippy –

    about that 37%.

    “counting only the 7 most lawerly per capita countries in the world the US has less than 50% of the total while making up 37 percent of the population”

    So it’s 37% of the the total population of only those SEVEN countries.

    Quite simple really.

  48. Bad post and bad comments from a typically good blog. Mr. Saward, I enjoy your blog. Part of the reason is you actually analyze the problems of the sport instead of resorting to stereotypes. And sure, some commenters can be idiots, but uh, you’re the professional journalist here.

    “Six guns and six shooters are the same thing.” – who in reality calls them that? To even bring it up is just sheer cultural arrogance.

    “The return on investment is on average 553%, that’s an economic profit of US$85 million per race.

    Some races make more, $221 million for Malaysia, and some make less $75 million for Canada.

    Specifically on Austin, and new vote is to take place, but not until after a new council member who is opposed to the Formula 1 project may be eligible to cast the deciding vote.” – if that were the case, there would be an F1 Grand Prix in the U.S. still, at Indianapolis. The Hulman George family would’ve continued promoting that event if they made money from it. They chose not to.

    And regarding “economic impact studies”, in the U.S. at least we are VERY skeptical of them. They always get trumped up but it somehow always results in taxpayers subsidizing private sports leagues, and their impact is hard to measure because do you treat it as new spending or is it simply reallocating spending that would’ve occurred anyway?

    I’m against public subsidies of Formula One races here because we have two racing leagues in the U.S. in NASCAR and Indycar that receive little from the public in comparison to what F1 requests and they have far greater fanbases and support than F1 does here. This is not a case of the United States needing F1, this is a case of F1 needing the United States. The fact the only promoter in the past 20 years that put together an event was a controversial promoter who inherited a fortune and his fatal flaw was he let his heart overrule his head tells you that.

    1. rj

      You can believe whatever you like. I am simply trying to provide the people of Texas with some balance.

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