Circuit of The Americas Announces Increased Security Measures For Austin MotoGP Round

In the wake of the tragic and repugnant bombing of the Boston Marathon on Monday, the Circuit of The Americas, the track hosting the Austin round of MotoGP, has announced increased security measures for this weekend's race. Everyone attending practice and the races will be required to go through security checkpoints before being allowed to enter the facility. Everyone attending could also be subject to searches by security staff before entry. These measures were also in place for previous events at the circuit, but in light of the events in Boston, the security checks are likely to be more thorough.

Below is the press release from the Circuit of The Americas, containing full details of the security measures, as well as a list of items which will not be allowed into the track:

Circuit of The Americas™ announces security measures for Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas

Security checkpoints, list of prohibited items standard protocol for all major Circuit events

AUSTIN, Texas (April 16, 2013) – Circuit of The Americas today announced security measures that will be in place for the inaugural Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas April 19-21.

Guests attending practice, qualifying and live race sessions at the purpose-built Grand Prix facility in Austin, Texas, will be required to go through security checkpoints prior to entering the venue. All guests and their items are subject to search by security personnel. These measures are in place for all major sports and entertainment events held at the Circuit and were utilized last November during the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX.

“Circuit of The Americas hosts large-scale sports and entertainment events throughout the year, and as a matter of practice, we restrict the types of items that can be brought into the venue by patrons and others working at the track,” Circuit Vice President of Public & Media Relations Julie Loignon said. “We work closely with public safety and emergency services personnel at the City, County, State and Federal level to monitor activities in and around the facility. We have been in touch with local law enforcement following yesterday’s unfortunate events in Boston, Mass., and will work with them throughout the upcoming weekend to ensure we conduct a safe and secure event.”

The following items WILL NOT be allowed in to Circuit of The Americas for this weekend’s MotoGP event:

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Animals (exception for certified service animals)
  • Bags or parcels larger than 12X12X20 inches
  • Bicycles, scooters, skateboards, skates, segways, golf carts or other unauthorized means of transportation
  • Coolers, thermoses or ice chests
  • Distribution of unauthorized promotional or commercial material
  • Food and Beverage (NOTE: sealed, individual, plastic bottles of water are allowed)
  • Fireworks, explosives or other incendiary devices
  • Glass or metal containers of any style
  • Illegal substances
  • Items that may be deemed a safety hazard or annoyance to participants or guests (balls, Frisbees, balloons, projectiles, horns, radios, bells, whistles, musical instruments, laser pointers, etc.)
  • Large, golf-type umbrellas
  • Non-collapsible chairs
  • Tents or canopies
  • Video cameras, audio recording devices and tripods; no video recording will be allowed
  • Weapons of any kind, including guns, knives, pepper spray, handcuffs, nightsticks or other items

The following items will be permitted inside the Circuit:

  • Blankets
  • Umbrellas (small, hand-held style)
  • Baby strollers
  • Portable, collapsible chairs
  • Personal camera equipment (e.g. digital cameras, point-and-click digital cameras or film cameras)
  • Binoculars

NOTE: All bags, purses, backpacks and persons are subject to screening by security personnel. Fans entering Circuit of The Americas should prepare accordingly. The list of banned and approved items can be found online at

Ticketholders should be aware that there are no provisions for returning banned items to them when such items are left at the race entrances. Patrons are encouraged to leave all banned items at home or in their vehicles. Individuals who deliberately attempt to bring banned items through security checkpoints are subject to removal from the facility.

About Circuit of The Americas

Circuit of The Americas is a world-class destination for performance, education and business. It is the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the United States designed for any and all classes of racing, from motor power to human power, and is home to the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX while also hosting MotoGP™, V8 Supercars™, GRAND-AM Road Racing™, American Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championships. The Circuit of The Americas’ master plan features a variety of permanent structures designed for business, education, entertainment and race use. Its signature element is a 3.4-mile circuit track. Other support buildings include the Austin360 Amphitheater, an expansive outdoor live music space; an iconic 251-foot, 25-story tower with observation deck; an events and conference center; a banquet hall; and a state-of-the-art medical facility. For more information and downloadable video, audio and photos, visit: or

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How much you wanna bet they'll confiscate #34 t-shirts
for being unauthorized promotional material?

Well you can ban camera equipment, but what's the use when most people have their cell phones on them!

Some of those requirements are going to be tough on guys riding to the event. My backpack usually weighs 80lbs when I'm on a long trip. All your clothes, tech stuff, gear, food, etc. need to be collected from the hotel the morning of the race if your not staying over... that sucks.

Hook up with a bunch of Harley guys and rent out their saddle bags :)

Thoughts and sympathies to Boston...

I've been to Laguna-Seca four times--all since 9/11, when America decided to collectively shit themselves and cower in fear. And how did that go?

Well, we pulled up to the track in the public transit bus, rolled out with our cooler full of food and beer, folding chairs, big umbrellas, and video/still cameras, carried it all to the hill above T2, and began enjoying ourselves. No security checkpoints. No fuss. Hell, half the time our tickets weren't even checked by anyone. The end result? A relaxed, good time.

The only entity that ever threatened to ruin our good time on one of those trips to California was the TSA, once by forcing me to throw away gifts that I'd bought in local shops during our stay in Carmel because they were bigger than 3 ounces and couldn't go on an airplane, and another time when they rifled through my friend's luggage (TSA locks were opened) and stole sentimental jewelry and all of her electronics.


I was actually planning a trip to Austin for next year's race (can't do it this year) to see the new track and finally catch the Moto2/Moto3 in person. Now I'm thinking I'll just stay home and use my online subscription. Dealing with the TSA is enough motivation to avoid travel as it is, and now I have to have my belongings searched and be treated like a terrorist at the track as well?

No coolers? No outside food or drink? Puhlease. That's just to force people to open their wallets to the concessions stands. It also, though, forces people to wait in huge lines. No thanks. I actually like the food and beer available at Laguna-Seca, but like to bring my own on race day to avoid the crowds.

No big umbrellas? Seriously? What POSSIBLE terrorist plot would involve big umbrellas? They gonna crash Mary Poppins into the scoring tower?

Roller skates? Skateboards? I'm not sure I've ever seen either of these things at a race, but would it really be a big deal? To the point where you have to ban them? I remember during my last trip at Laguna-Seca seeing a toddler on a little balance bike riding around the concession area. His dad was there with him, and the kid looked to be having a great time pretending he was on his own little race bike. I thought it was great! Who could this possibly hurt?

No video cameras or tripods? Video recording not allowed? This is officially the final straw. Not only is this just completely petty, but it's stupid and unenforceable. Are they going to say you can't bring DSLRs into the circuit? Because these things are being used to shoot features now. And there are tiny point-and-shoots with 1" sensors and 60p video capture. And pocketable rangefinder style bodies with interchangeable lenses and 1080p video capability. So how do they plan on stopping this? And why the ban on tripods? You have to have a press pass to stabilize a shot at the track now?

No. Suck it, Austin. This is just over the top. I don't think I'll patronize a venue that's so commercially petty and prone to fear-based overreaction.

That is big list of CANT'S.

Not beer & ice boxes..... no Mr Wiggysan then!

My best wishes to the people of Boston, but some items on this COtA list are mad.

Good luck.

Yep. You need to buy the $10.00 coke from COTA, not 7Eleven. COTA needs your money to pay their salary.

No big umbrellas? Great. Now I can see the race without some sod with a overly large umbrella blocking the view. They rarely put the umbrella down so you can see, when you ask them to.

Getting to the track in Tx seems like it's going to be a walk in the park. The track is on a newly built hwy that your allowed to do 85mph on (legally). Unlike slow poke hwys in Ca built for Yugos and Prius.

How very well put. Seems they're either overreacting, or taking advantage to force people to spend more $ at the track. No outside food or bevs? And possibly no iPhones either? Will they then confiscate my phone at the gate? And they say they're under no obligation to give it back either. I won't be going. Indy is much more fan-friendly anyway.

I love this George Carlin clip, stuff like this always reminds me of it,

ANd I feel truly sorry for all Americans. "Land of the Free", ha. Can't even bring beer or a frisbee to an outdoor event. Or tents? What if your driving from more than like 1 hour away but want to see Friday & Saturday practice/qualifying as well as the races on Sunday?

And the irony of banning a camping stove or a tin of beans at an event featuring 200mph crotch-rockets on safety/security reasons would be hilarious if it wasn't so damn moronic

That is ridiculous......I thought it was bad when the security guards lost it on my dad and I when we were riding our bicycles at Mid Ohio. We honestly almost got kicked the camping area.....But no outside food or drinks? Wow. Do you really have to restrict the umbrella size? Is that really a security risk? It's an a**hole risk, but not security. Bag or parcels larger then 12x12x20? WTF? If someone wanted to get a bomb into that area they could....period. I don't think I have to explain that people who bomb places usually plan very well ahead and know the holes in security. Restricting peoples luggage size to a Motogp event is simply making is so they have to buy more stuff.

This kind of crap would definitely make me change my mind about going, if I had actually wanted to go. What a debacle. I had really high hopes when this track was announced.

Pretty unbelievable, I feel for those of you who are (were?) planning to attend the event.

Dorna will certainly be pleased with the no video regulation, they won't have to sit up late into Sunday night sending threatening messages to YouTube users.

Great way to kill the buzz of a new MotoGP event, COTA.

The Land of Free... (kind of).

Honestly, COTA, on a near daily basis, seems to intentionally stretch for new lows. Now looking to profit on the back of a terrorist attack in the name of safety is a tragedy. Maybe attendees will get really lucky and have to face the TSA's VIPER Squad -the mobile team of over-employed losers that couldn't hack it in the real world and whom are so eager to touch your junk all while laughing at our Fourth Amendment.

I really do hope this group fails. I hate to sound so obstinate and cheer the failure of a MotoGP round in America, but it could not happen to a better group of D Bags.

A lot of these things aren't exactly what they seem. For example, Dorna already 'prohibits' DSLR's at all MotoGP events, but that rule is almost never enforced. Some of these things seem ludicrous, but it's important to keep in mind how reality will actually unfold.

The people working security at the event will undoubtedly be a mix of police and hired security, but at nearly all US sporting events, those checking bags at gates are hired security. I mean no disrespect by saying this, but these aren't the brightest (or really, most caring) guys in the world. Sure, they'll be told "don't let people bring frisbees into the complex", but is that really what they'll be looking for? No. When push (long lines) comes to shove (hot Texas air), these guys are really only going to be looking for the big things, the things they know they can get in a whole lot of trouble for letting through the gates.

So yes, the press release is a bit of knee-jerk craziness, but actual enforcement will most likely be closer to a slightly stricter/rigid norm.

This is nothing new for COTA. This list of banned items is the exact same it was weeks ago, I saw this list on their site long before anything happen in Boston. I attended the F1 race last November and they didn't let you bring in any outside food, alcoholic beverages or coolers. I'm not sure, but I'll bet it was the same list last fall when they opened. They searched all bags to make sure we only had bottled water. We ended up having lunch and a few beers in the parking before going into the track on race day for the F1 race.

This is the only car or motorcycle race track I've ever been to that doesn't allow you to bring in a cooler with food and beer.

I'll be attending the Moto GP race at COTA because I'm addicted to Moto GP and I live in Texas. I've attended the Indy Moto GP the past 5 years. I watch almost every practice session and races live no matter what time it comes on. Having said all this I really don't agree with most of the policies at COTA.

I would hope after this initial "knee jurk" reaction to the events in Boston, COTA will review it's policy of Banning CHL License Holders from the facility. Please review your policy and correct it to read....unlicensed possession of a weapon of any kind is prohibited. Licensed CHL holders are licensed by the State of Texas and as such, should be allowed to do so ! Thanks!

Where has this "land of the free, home of the brave" gotten to?
I used to work and live for 2 years in the US (Detroit/MI) from right before 9/11 and right after it.
The workers at Ford-where I worked- did´nt knew whether they would be making artillery weapons the next month or still Mustangs, because everybody was so unsure about what was going on.
It is absolutely unbelievable that only 44 years after the USA went to the Moon, it is becoming a doomed cry baby only because of some terrorists.
In the sixties a politician was shot every now and then, but nobody thought about reducing the freedom of the people like it is done today.
To me it seems that the capability of logical thinking has ended together with the Apollo program.
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left a small silicone disc with the imprinted international goodwill messages at the surface of the Moon and the one from John Gorton(Prime Minister of Australia) always comes to my mind that said at the end"...May the high courage and the technical genius which made this achievement possible be so used in the future that mankind will live in a universe in which peace, self expression, and the chance of a dangerous adventure are available to all."

"..and the chance of a dangerous adventure are available to all."

This hits me the hardest, when I think how safety-fanatic people have become.You can´t do anything anymore today, without somebody using a safety concern to take your right to decide by yourself away from you with dubious reasoning-which makes it even worse.
I would not attend the Texas GP even if they would pay me for it, and you-David- should not be going too.

Respect, man.
Because we have it SO VERY EASY over here, we constantly look for things to be afraid of. The "threat" of terrorism is just the latest fad. When I was growing up, it was communism coming just around the corner. BEWARE!
One thing you could never say about us Americans is that we're laid-back, or relaxed.
COTA is just the latest example of someone pounding their chest for attention, trying to get points for being "serious about the threat of..."

Glad I'm not going, how would you react to having your luggage taken off you or refused admission after crossing the Atlantic? I was really considering making the trip up until last month.

Saw the same reaction at airports in 2002 when visiting. Terrorism wins hands down in the USA because they play right into their hands!

Uh. Based on sales so far, ANY Major League Baseball game should pull a larger crowd. A bombing at the circuit should be the only thing that gave it media coverage.
The owners seem to have bent over backwards to completely alienate the motogp faithful, from the stupid scwantz banning, to the impossible luggage rules for bike travelers.
We can alway rely on Texas, to make furriners snd carpet baggering Yankees welcome. Bravo! (Slow clap)

My goodness I think some of you need some kleenex and some pampers.

Heightened security after Boston is to be expected. If there was any large sporting event taking place this weekend you'd see this.

No coolers at COTA? While I'd like to bring my own into the track it's really not that big of a deal, at least not enough to pout and cry and complain. And have you brought one into a track before? Major hassle dragging that thing around, making sure someone stays to watch it, etc. No big loss. I'm going. Bringing a cooler too. It will just stay in the car. You are allowed to go to the parking lot and back so I'll be tailgating for lunch. I'll also be bringing in water to the track and drinking my beer at lunch.

I'm not going to make a big deal about food, beer, etc. Same rules apply for other major sports functions here in the USA. Try to bring in a cooler into a stick and ball game and see what happens. They'll kick your ass out. I'm going to COTA to see the MotoGP riders ride one of the most difficult and demanding circuits in the world. The USA finally, after so many years, has a world class venue as good as anything else in the world. While I don't agree with how they have handled some things, it will get better. They will be forced to relax standards, etc. It's just the first race of many to come. So you guys keep complaining, I'll be supporting the series, the riders, in person watching in turn 15.

All the stupid rules and security at football games have pretty much turned me off to that, too. But you're making an apples to oranges comparison. A race weekend is more like a music festival or a theme park than a stick and ball game. It's all day long for multiple days, takes place in a vast environment with no assigned seating, patrons can and do camp on location, and there are tons of things on site to see and do. A MotoGP race is about finding your own fun and experiencing things in your own way, not soaking up the prepackaged show. The only similarity between a music festival and a ballgame is that music festivals have sold out just as badly as the ball sports did long ago, and the commercial nature of it all has spoiled the fun.

So why should this be the standard to which we hold MotoGP? Laguna-Seca (and, sorry, but that's the only race I've experienced in person) has always been special to me because it's no stick and ball game. The tickets are cheap, so just about anyone can afford to come. And I can roam around! I can view the track from so many different angles and vantage points that just don't show up on TV! I can pull my camera out, set it on a tripod, and get great shots of the riders barreling down the Corkscrew behind me to take home to my friends! I can unpack a picnic lunch and eat it on a hill while bikes go screaming by! (And, to answer your question, YES, I've brought a soft cooler full of beer and food to the track before. Makes race day a lot more relaxing and simple. You empty it by the end of the race, fold it up, and then pack it around on your back as you roam the facilities afterward. In the process, you avoid waiting in line for food with 36,000 other people.) It's a MotoGP theme park, not some stuffy stadium event.

I can watch MotoGP riders ride on the most demanding circuits in the world on my computer if need be; I attend a race to have FUN. Turning MotoGP into a locked-down stadium event officially kills the fun. And I don't believe in opening my wallet to reward such behavior by the organizers. You keep going and paying them, and they'll just keep being dicks. In particular, the banning of video recording--enforceable or not--triggers my middle finger reflex.

I'd rather watch MotoGP riders bomb around a goat trail at which I can have fun, be free, and bring home pictures and video than be treated like a walking wallet with a terrorist agenda at a "world class facility." That's not needing kleenex and pampers, that's standing behind your convictions. You yourself write that you don't like these rules, things will get better, and they'll eventually be forced to relax their standards. No, they won't. Because people like you will just keep sucking it up and taking it, demonstrating to them that your dignity is worth less to you than their product.

Brick Top, last I checked I thought we were talking about watching racing. "Stick and Ball" games have always been different than racing venues. period. I think we've all grown accustomed to watching live RACING events in an altogether different way. That includes folding chairs, coolers, etc. If I wanted to throw a frisbee, football or canned beer to a friend that I was camping with ON SITE, it wouldn't even cross my mind to think twice about it.

and if your cooler is too heavy to carry, get one with wheels on it!

This is yet ANOTHER example of COAT forgetting what their customer base is going to look like...

Does anybody on this forum know anything about the parking area for the event. Is the actual parking for the cars in a field or on pavement?

It's going to rain Thursday and Thursday night. Some of us don't like to park in quagmires that you can't get out of for hours.

My wife and I have attended every MotoGP event held at Indy and carried our own food in every time. In a soft cooler no less. What about people that have strict dietary restrictions? This is absolutely nothing more than a money grab. No food = 1st & last time at Circuit of the Asshats. I guess I should thank COTA, now I can start planning for next year at Assen early!

It's called freedom.
But if you are an organiser it's a tough call on what to do.
The factoid is that those concessions clearly make a significant contribution to the cost of the event. Dorna takes most of that I think.
COTA seems to have poor PR advice though - the Schwantz 'event' showed that.

It's like airport security - a pain in the proverbial and it puts a lot of people off travelling or adds to the stress, not the pleasure. But, like airport security the test will be whether they have mindless jobsworths telling people to dump their stuff or, lines of security efficiently checking bags (and coolers) etc. and taking HD video of the whole entry process.

As said above, most circuits have T&C's that, like most T&C's, or advisory's on medicinal products, would scare you off if you take them all too seriously.

IMO what COTA should do is issue a case-specific advice that doesn't include their usual 'you bring your underwear and wallet in but nothing else' clauses, and re-assure people that extra security will be provided to ease the inevitably slower entrance process. That costs, but it's more effective security.

They should also ask people to be more alert and to not leave anything unattended/report anything unattended, with clear security posts in every relevant zone. People need to be responsible for themselves too.

Have a good breakfast before you get there/enter the circuit - you really only need a few things/drinks during the day then. You stay slimmer and your wallet stays fatter!

It will be a fantastic event I'm sure.

I wish I could get there! Maybe one day.....

Have you not noticed how Health & Safety is being used as a weapon these days?

Its easily exploited if you have the wrong aims or attitudes. Best not to call it H&S though - good practice, good business, caring, and common-sense are better terms and self-explanatory.
The true cost of terrorism is probably virtually incalculable but the technology the response drove also brought a lot of benefits.
As they say - every cloud has a silver lining.
The response to the pit fire showed COTA is well-prepared and that should give everyone some comfort that the operators aren't adopting an 'everyone for themselves' approach. Hopefully that will make people come.