How F1 will use the Las Vegas Sphere as a temporary residence for U2

How F1 will use the Las Vegas Sphere as a temporary residence for U2

The race forced Irish rock band U2 to pause their residency at the recently opened venue for more than three weeks.

U2 has played a series of acclaimed concerts at the Sphere, which cost $2.3 billion to build and features high-definition video screens across its interior and exterior decks.

However, due to the race, the band had to take a break, playing their final show of the initial tour on November 4, before returning on December 1 for dates that currently extend into February.

Formula 1 owner Liberty Media had to make a deal with Sphere management because the track revolves around it, and some surrounding land was required.

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei insisted the company would recover some of the cost of using the Sphere land, in effect closing it to any further events.

“This year we have a relationship where we have effectively leased Sphere, both internally and externally,” he explained.

“The race will be around the Sphere. So we are using their property. We will own all the advertising on the Sphere for the duration of the race for a fixed fee.

“We’ve packaged that into some (sponsorship) deals, and we’ve also sold advertising directly to parties during the race, which will defray part of our costs. It’s been a necessary cost for us, because we need to be on their land.

“But in addition to that, this was a revenue opportunity for us to rent out the time on the Sphere as you said, or sublease it.

“Plus, we’ll be having a recovery brunch, and you’ll need to recover on Sunday morning at the Sphere. We’ll be showing race highlights internally.”

Introducing Las Vegas GP

Photo by: Las Vegas GP

Introducing Las Vegas GP

Maffei stressed that Formula 1 hopes to benefit more from Sphere in the coming years, as it has had relatively little time to plan the inaugural event.

“We have a long-term relationship with Sphere, and I believe we will have more programs in place,” he said.

“Partly because we didn’t know if the Sphere project would be finished, and partly we were rushing to get it done, and that combination made it difficult to program for the year.

“But I think in the coming years, we’ll have a lot more going on. So, even though people said why won’t U2 be there this weekend? It’s because we didn’t know what was going to happen.”

Speaking from the stage before the pause, lead singer Bono told fans why they should wait for another chance to see the show.

“As I mentioned, we will take a short break after tonight,” he said. “We are bringing Las Vegas back to Formula 1.

“If you don’t know what Formula 1 is, it’s a sport where very stylish, skinny, mean men and some extraordinary women get into rockets and try to stay on the ground and not get into orbit, something like that. It’s a bit like rock ‘n’ roll, “Actually! Less dangerous.”

He also introduced the band as Max Verstappen (Dutch replacement drummer Bram van den Berg), Lewis Hamilton (Adam Clayton), Charles Leclerc (The Edge) and Daniel Ricciardo (himself).

He added, “I’m at home with country and metal music. I’m the right person to bring peace between Formula 1 and NASCAR.”

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