On Friday, Austin Mayor Steven Adler, along with Judge Sarah Eckhardt of Travis County, declared a “local state of disaster” regarding the coronavirus threat, which has cast major doubt over the Grand Prix of the Americas event scheduled to take place on April 5.
Following the cancellation of the Qatar opener and the postponement of the second round in Thailand, the Circuit of the Americas was then assigned the opening slot on the MotoGP calendar after originally being scheduled to host the third round.
Unless event organisers are able to prove to the Public Health Department that measures are put in place to help mitigate the spread of any potential health hazards, the city’s suspension on events with an attendance figure of 2,500 of more places the MotoGP round in jeopardy.
Austin’s marquee music and film festival – South by Southwest – has already been cancelled as a result, which was scheduled to start on March 13.
Whilst there are 17 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Texas, there are none in the city of Austin. Carmelo Ezpeleta, the CEO of Dorna, has not ruled out hosting ‘spectatorless’ races in light of the recent coronavirus threat and the restrictions imposed in an effort to contain the outbreak.
In the event that the COTA round does not go ahead, the season opener would then be switched to the Argentine round at Termas de Rio Hondo on April 19.