There are 6 main Circuit of the Americas entrance gates that are used for the F1 and most other major sporting events.
If you’re unsure which entrance gate to head for when you arrive at the circuit, this article provides all the information you need including maps and gate locations relevant to parking lots and grandstands.
Circuit of the Americas entrance gates
There are 6 entrance gates at Circuit of the Americas:
- Main grandstand
- Turn 1
- Turn 3
- Turn 11
- Grand Plaza
- Lot N (access for Lot N dry camping and parking pass holders)
During the Formula One weekend there can be pretty long queues at these entrances at peak times, mainly on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Less so at the Lot N entrance. But people have waited over an hour in line at the turnstiles at the other entrances, so factor this in to your planning for the day.
Below is a map that shows the location of each of these entrance gates at COTA. These 6 gates are all used for the United States Formula One Grand Prix event at the circuit, and most of them (but not all) are in use for other major events such as MotoGP or Nascar.
Main Grandstand entrance
The COTA Main Grandstand entrance gate is actually located in parking lot A, a premium parking area and one of the few lots that’s fully paved.
The entrance turnstiles for the F1 are usually directly in front of the Main Grandstand building that has the huge Circuit of the Americas writing painted on it. These will be just to the west of the karting track.
The 6 entrance tents can be seen to the right hand side of the image below.
This entrance is closest to the podium where the Grand prix winner will lift the US GP trophy.
Turn 1 entrance
The Turn 1 entrance at COTA is on the perimeter walkway on the outside of the circuit, where the free tram / shuttle runs during the F1 weekend. It’s slightly north of parking Lot T.
It’s directly behind the grandstand at the first corner and next to the toilet block / snack bar. The white entrance tent can be seen in the image below, taken from the COTA Turn 1 grandstand back row, looking behind it.
Turn 1 is on a pretty big hill so be prepared for a bit of a leg burn when walking to / from this entrance!
Turn 3 entrance
The Turn 3 entrance at COTA is right on the edge of the Lot N parking / camping area. If you want to get to the circuit infield this is a good entrance gate to use as there’s a pedestrian bridge across the circuit at Turn 3, only a few paces from the entrance.
Turn 11 entrance
The Circuit of the Americas entrance gate at Turn 11 is on the far end of the track and gives pretty direct access to the Turn 11 general admission spectator area, or the Turn 9 grandstand. To get to anywhere else within the track from here is going to be a pretty long walk.
Look for the tall red Turn 11 corner marker and you’ll find the entrance tents right nearby.
Grand Plaza entrance
The Grand Plaza entrance at COTA is the main circuit entrance. It’s located directly off COTA Boulevard and is easily accessible from any of the parking lots to the north of the circuit.
The shuttle services drop off near here.
The Grand Plaza entrance gives you instant access to the Grand Plaza fan zone where there’ll be countless concessions, food and drinks vendors, merchandise stalls and entertainment options. Plus the COTA sign where you have to become the ‘T’.
This entrance is also closest to the COTA Tower and the Germania Amphitheatre where the Sunday evening Austin F1 concert is usually held after the Grand Prix has finished.
Lot N camping entrance
There is one additional circuit entrance which is for the Lot N dry campground. This is pretty close to the Turn 3 entrance, just a little further along the track, and is usually only for people with Lot N camping or parking passes.
If you’re interested in camping then read our full guide to COTA camping.
COTA entrance gates - nearest parking lots
If you are planning on driving and parking at the United States Grand Prix, read our full guide to COTA parking first. It’s incredibly expensive and if you don’t pick the right lot you can be stuck in traffic for hours before and after the F1. You have been warned.
Regardless, here’s a list of the nearest Circuit of the Americas entrance gates to each official parking lot:
- Lot A – Main Grandstand entrance
- Lot B – Grand Plaza entrance
- Lot C – Grand Plaza entrance
- Lot D – Grand Plaza entrance
- Lot E – Grand Plaza entrance
- Lot F – Grand Plaza entrance
- Lot H – Grand Plaza entrance / Turn 11 entrance
- Lot K – Turn 11 entrance
- Lot L – Turn 11 entrance
- Lot M – Turn 11 entrance
- Lot N – Lot N entrance / Turn 3 entrance
- Lot R – Turn 11 entrance
- Lot S – Turn 11 entrance
- Lot T – Turn 1 entrance
The nearest entrance might not always be the best for you, depending on where within the circuit you are heading. For example the closest entrance to Lot H is actually Turn 11 but it’s the complete opposite distance to the Grand Plaza entrance, where there’s a lot more going on, including the COTA Tower.
If you are using one of the COTA shuttle services, you’ll be using the Grand Plaza entrance.
Circuit of the Americas entrances for grandstands
If you have reserved grandstand seats you may also want to head to the entrance gate that’s nearest those. The map below shows the COTA entrance gates in relation to the different grandstands and general admission viewing areas at the F1.
Read our guide to the COTA hospitality options for info on their locations, and then check back here to see which entrances are nearest those.
Circuit of the Americas entrance policies
COTA has a number of venue policies that it tries (with varying degrees of success) to enforce when people enter the circuit during the weekend.
These include policies on bag size, water bottles, not bringing food and drink and more. Read our article on COTA General Admission for a full overview of what you can and can’t bring in to the circuit during the F1 weekend.