Formula 1 finally realized that the demand for Las Vegas was exaggerated

Formula 1 finally realized that the demand for Las Vegas was exaggerated

The Las Vegas Grand Prix is ​​scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 18 (free practice begins on Thursday), with a start time of 10pm PT. This scene is sure to astound onlookers. After all, Formula 1 has spent the most money on this race — $500 million — than any other race it has held this year.

Yes, it will definitely be something to watch. The only problem is that it seems like no one will be there to see it. The half-billion-dollar project was a huge success less than a week before it was supposed to be implemented.

The main issue is demand.

When the event was announced, it was clear that it wasn’t supposed to bring new fans to Formula 1 or spark more American interest. The initial entry fee for the Grand Prix was about $2,000 at the low end. The average price was about $7,000. Hotels witnessed a significant increase in their prices in anticipation of this global event, designed specifically for international tourism enthusiasts.

On November 3, the CEO of the Las Vegas Grand Prix made a rather bold claim, positing that by the time of the event, “we will be sold out.” The opposite happened. Although the event lowers its prices significantly and nearby hotels lower their rates, the Las Vegas Grand Prix attracts almost no interest.

How much have prices been reduced?

KTNV Las Vegas reported that ticket prices are down nearly 60 percent, but it’s not just the tickets. Hotels near the event reduced their rates by up to 80 percent on the nights before the race.

Furthermore, the Grand Prix initially imposed fees on any business or hotel with a view of the race, threatening to erect statues within sight of any building with a view that did not pay. These fees were eventually reduced, but it set a bad tone for the city. Not to mention the construction work that also took place near the end of the strip, leading to major traffic jams throughout the city for weeks.

Another factor that can play a role in lack of interest is time. The race doesn’t start until 10pm local time. People don’t come to Las Vegas just to watch a race that doesn’t have much value in the end-of-season results, considering Max Verstappen has long held the championship at this point. They come to gamble, drink and enjoy the nightlife, without the eardrums bursting at the sound barrier and the smell of burning rubber.

Hasn’t Formula 1 held races in Vegas before?

Yes, in 1981 and 1982, Caesars Palace hosted its own Grand Prix, using a large area of ​​the parking lot for the course. It also didn’t go well. Even the former president of the Caesars Palace Grand Prix referred to the five years leading up to the event as “an absolute nightmare.”

This race is different though. Formula 1 has been building this race for the better part of two years. It was supposed to be a huge event that would bring in billions of dollars. While President and CEO of Liberty Greg Maffei, Formula 1’s parent company, stated, “I think revenue numbers that are close to that (are still) a reasonable estimate of profitability,” claiming that the Las Vegas Grand Prix would be able to recoup $500. million investment, this is still just an estimate. At best, there will not be much room for profit.

Formula 1 wants Las Vegas to become a key part of the Formula 1 schedule for years to come, and this hiccup doesn’t look like it will dispel those desires. If anything happens, they will likely just come back in the future with lower expectations from the beginning.

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