Taylor Swift helps U.S. Grand Prix to a record crowd


Oct 22, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Musical artist Taylor Swift performs after the Formula One qualifying session for the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Sunday's U.S. Formula One Grand Prix reversed a trend of declining audiences with its biggest crowd yet, according to organisers who said 269,889 attended over the three days at the Circuit of the Americas.

The numbers were boosted by singer Taylor Swift holding her long-awaited first concert of the year on Saturday night after race qualifying, with some 80,000 watching.

The race, now in its fifth edition, reported a three-day crowd of 224,011 last year with the previous record of 265,499 set on its debut in 2012.

In 2013 and 2014 the official figures were 250,324 and 237,406 respectively.

Bad weather hit revenues significantly last year, with Saturday's final practice taking place behind closed doors due to flooded conditions and qualifying postponed to the Sunday.

That race turned out to be the title decider, with Britain's Lewis Hamilton taking his third world championship with Mercedes.

State subsidies, which the circuit needs to keep the race on the calendar, are based on a formula for calculating how much economic activity the grand prix generates for Texas and attendances play a big part in that.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Ian Chadband)

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