Las Vegas gears up for Formula 1 as US gets third race of the season
By: Josh Strauss
Nov. 22, 2022
Photo Credit: Associated Press
The strip of Las Vegas has been home to some of the largest sporting and entertainment events in the world. Its bright shining lights and towering casinos have, for the right price, been synonymous with luxury and opulence.
The city has attracted some of the world's wealthiest for its world-class entertainment, making it a perfect partner for Formula 1, a sport renowned for its affluent nature and ability to attract celebrities. Previously, Formula 1 has spent just a fraction of its roughly 20-race season on the North American continent, with the United states hosting just one race in Austin. However, after being purchased in 2016 by the American company Liberty Media, the parent company of Sirius XM and the Atlanta Braves, there has been an aggressive expansion in the previously untapped American market. This growth has seen the number of races in the US increase from one in 2019 to three starting in 2023. For more information, please read Alejandro Echeverria’s article from SBAJ volume one, which provides great insight into the specifics of Formula 1’s growth.
The newest addition to the Formula 1 calendar, Las Vegas, is set to take place in November 2023. In preparation, Formula 1 has launched a massive promotional campaign highlighting some of the luxuries that Formula 1 CEO and President Stefano Domacelli believes will make the event, “ the hottest ticket in global sport next year.” The big budget campaign, which included a Formula 1 car racing through the casino floor of the Wynn hotel, appears to have worked. The cheapest tickets for the race weekend, standing room only, retailed for $500. The cheapest ticket with a seat sold for just over $3000, with VIP packages selling for over $12000.
Despite the price tag, tickets for the event sold out in just minutes, replicating the second American Race in Miami, which sold out its inventory in just 40 minutes for its inaugural race in May. In preparation for the onslaught of tourists descending the strip, many hotels have purchased tickets to pair with hotel rooms in exorbitant packages for the ultra-wealthy. MGM purchased over $20 million in tickets and is reselling packages for over $155 thousand. The Washington Post estimates some hotel/race packages will cost over $1 million. For readers interested in seeing how hotel prices in Las Vegas have increased for the race weekend, refer to NewsNow’s chart attached here for a full overview.
The price to attend the Las Vegas Grand Prix, although an outlier when compared to the calendar as a whole, is indicative of an upward trend of prices across the sport. The cheapest general admission ticket at the Miami Grand Prix was $750, and the cheapest seat sold for roughly $1,000. Even tickets for the most affordable of the American races, Austin, still sold at a floor of around $500.
For many fans hoping to get tickets to the Las Vegas Grand Prix, the prices are likely to be much higher unless you are one of the lucky few who was able to purchase tickets from Formula 1 directly. As of the time this article is being published, the cheapest standing-room ticket listed on Stubhub for this event is $1800. As its fanbase continues to grow, some worry that many fans will end up being priced out. With Formula 1 recently agreeing to a broadcasting rights extension with ESPN keeping the sport on the network through 2025, this is an issue that will certainly be discussed more over the coming seasons.
Despite the high ticket prices, Formula 1 is able to capitalize on its growing and dedicated fanbase, with tickets selling out for Miami and Las Vegas in under an hour. For fans lucky enough to attend, the event promises to be a landmark in both guest- experience and spectacle, with Domicelli stating, “Taking over the sports and entertainment capital of the world for almost an entire week is going to be a game changer for Formula 1 and has the potential to set the benchmark for all global sports and entertainment events in the future. Fans won’t want to miss it.”
The Las Vegas Grand Prix will take place starting November 16th, 2023, with the race scheduled for Saturday night at 10 p.m.