Rolling Stones fans react after COTA blames GPS app, CapMetro

Circuit of the Americas is blaming outside hiring shortages and a GPS app issue for the bumper-to-bumper traffic heading to the highly anticipated Rolling Stones concert Saturday night.

Many fans sat in traffic for hours to get into the show. Most were able to only catch some of the show while others did not get in at all. Fans say they sat in traffic from anywhere between two to three hours.

While most fans were trying to catch the show, not everyone sitting in traffic was headed to COTA. Corbin Sherrell sat in that traffic for hours trying to get to his wife after her car broke down on the side of the road. He says his wife’s car broke down after sitting in the sea of red lights for nearly three hours following a Thanksgiving grocery run down the street.

Sherrel says he and his family have lived near COTA for some time now and the traffic is nothing new. In fact, he says it happens every time COTA holds an event.

"I worry if I need to get to the hospital. I'm going to have to occur a Starflight bill in order to get my child to the hospital because I can't leave my street. This makes me no longer want to have anything to do with this city or county," he said.

Fans say the concert part was amazing. However, they say going to the venue and leaving was a mess and they will not attend another event until COTA fixes these problems. "I think COTA needs to figure it out. Every time we go to COTA, there's some kind of traffic or logistical issue," said Jackie Padgett from Austin.

COTA released a statement placing blame on a few things for the backup. They say it was partially due to outside staffing shortages as well as GPS app issues.

COTA itself is a small group of caring people who want to provide happiness and good memories, not frustration.   To host large events, the team hires, and must rely upon, outside staffing companies to provide mobility-assisted services, parking attendants, food vendors, ushers, and cleaning staff.  Those organizations, not unlike most, have reported that hiring has been incredibly difficult lately, and we appreciate everyone who did their best to make The Rolling Stones concert a great experience.  

Last night, a widely used GPS traffic app incorrectly displayed a major open road as being closed and further displayed a private driveway as being an open road.  Thousands of cars were wrongly directed, thereby turning heavy traffic into a mess.

Two days before the concert, COTA sent out an email recommending concertgoers download the Waze app to find the best route to their parking lot.

Via email: "As you drive to COTA, we recommend using the Waze App to easily find the best route to a particular parking lot. Open the Waze App and search for your parking lot. (Example: Lot F - COTA)."

It is believed COTA is referring to the Waze app they recommended fans use when speaking about the GPS app issues. "From the standpoint of blaming it on Waze, I have a hard time with that one," said Stacy London from Houston.

London says she waited in traffic for hours but was one of the lucky ones who eventually made it in. She says Waze was helpful.

"I really can't blame any of [the traffic issues] on Waze. If [Waze] directed me to somewhere other than COTA, I might blame it on Waze, but they took me to my lot. It just was difficult to get there," said London.

COTA turned down the opportunity to do an on-camera interview with FOX 7 Austin.

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