Formula 1 billion: Las Vegas Grand Prix predicted to generate $1bn

July 26, 2023

The F1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix will provide a massive drive for the city's economy, with hundreds of millions already brought in before the laps have begun.

Key players from within both Formula 1 and the casino industry are predicting that the Las Vegas Grand Prix will generate over $1bn in revenue. It’s also estimated that approximately 100,000 spectators will attend the race each day. Research was initially conducted by Applied Analysis, and announced by Las Vegas Grand Prix CEO Renee Wilm at the Las Vegas Convention Center in January. F1 visitor spending was projected to be $966m, while an extra $316m would be necessary for the event’s costs and operation. The domestic popularity of the Las Vegas Grand Prix was apparent from online ticket sales, with its first wave of tickets selling out before anyone in international time zones could be given fair timing. 

Applied Analysis has also already begun an economic impact study for the planned 2024 Super Bowl, which will be played in February at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium. This research concluded that the event would impact the city closer to the $600m mark. However, the Grand Prix objectively differs from next year’s Super Bowl in more ways than (Formula) one. The NFL Championship is a one-day event, which will leave the city the following year, while Las Vegas will now be home to an annual Grand Prix until at least 2032.

Stephen Crystal, Founder and CEO of SCCG Management, told Gaming America, “The overall casino hospitality industry for Las Vegas does approximately $11-12bn annually. Formula 1 is expected to benefit the casino hospitality industry in Las Vegas to the tune of $1bn to $1.5bn annually. They are committed to Las Vegas for a 10-year run, so Formula 1 will be a substantial contributor in the future. The overall economic benefit to Las Vegas could be four to five times that. It is important to note that the addition of NFL and NHL to Las Vegas, and big events and headliners, have also contributed to our amazing growth. MLB, and possibly NBA, is coming in the future. Las Vegas is truly the top worldwide destination for gambling, sports and entertainment. Formula 1 is just an exclamation point in this progression.”

That exclamation point morphs into a dollar sign as soon as Grand Prix VIPs are concerned, though. You might be surprised to learn that the average Super Bowl LVIII ticket price is already slated to cost $5,596. However, Grand Prix tickets have a much broader range, with both sponsors of the race and casinos within its track offering extremely exclusive packages. General admission three-day passes start at $500; grandstand tickets range between $1,500 and $3,200; and premium zone tickets cost up to $10,000 per person. MGM plans to purchase between $20-$25m F1 tickets as part of packages, some of which pass the $100,000 mark.

Resorts World is currently selling a luxury package for $888,000, aptly called The 888 Experience, includes first-class flights, a three-night stay in an exclusive palace suite, four additional deluxe rooms, a private butler, custom tailoring service and an invite to a VIP afterparty at Zouk Nightclub. The package also boasts $20,000 in resort credit that can be spent at the casino, theaters, bars, spa, pool, dayclub or salon. Wynn Resorts has also advertised a $1m VIP, six-person experience that includes a ‘hot lap’ around the racecourse alongside an F1 driver, as well as access to the private Wynn Grid Club, VIP tours of the paddock, exclusive dining and spa treatments, golf club access, salon reservations and luxury transportation to and from the airport and event. Caesars Entertainment’s Emperor Package is also going for a whopping $5m, and will place guests in the Nobu Sky Villa at Caesars Palace for five nights, with a 24-hour butler, a driver service, a spa service for six guests, a private dining experience for 12 with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, and an invite for the package holder and plus one to also attend “Weekends with Adele” at the Caesars Palace Colosseum. The Nobu Sky Villa terrace has space for up to 75 guests to view the Grand Prix without even leaving the hotel, but the package also includes 12 tickets to the F1 Paddock Club.

Room rates for guests planning to stay during any part of the Grand Prix weekend already reflect the VIP nature of the event. The Wynn Las Vegas was fully booked for November 15-19 by early June; The Venetian’s website also already had November 16-18 marked as unavailable before the summer even started. Rooms at Caesars Palace cost over $500 more a night for Grand Prix weekend than for bookings either the weekend before or after the event. Most hotel rooms will set any Vegas visitor back a grand a night – and not necessarily the MGM kind.

Entertainers Major Lazer, J Balvin and Mark Ronson are set to headline the T-Mobile Zone at Formula 1’s Sphere Stage, while performers from resident Vegas acts Cirque du Soleil and The Blue Man Group will also be seen both onstage and in fan zones. The Grand Prix will also feature an opening ceremony on the Heineken Silver Stage, with a lineup that has yet to be announced.

Fallon Porter, Communications Manager Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, told Gaming America that the scale and success of the event is what F1 has been banking (its turns) on. “Liberty Media acquired Formula 1 in 2017 with a belief in the significant growth potential for the sport, especially in the US. Las Vegas has quickly evolved into a top sports destination. In the last five years, the city has added four professional sports teams and has shown a demand for sporting events by consistently filling up arenas and stadiums. With a new, exciting track taking over the iconic Las Vegas Strip and elevated hospitality experiences, we believe we are building an exciting sporting moment that fans will love for years to come. Las Vegas is no stranger to putting on a show, and we expect the event to be a huge spectacle.”

Economic impact won’t be booming just from the grand spending of attendees at grandstands, hotels, fan zones and stages, however. The physical landscape of Las Vegas and its iconic Strip will be fundamentally changed to suit drivers on track, while developments in the economic landscape extend to drivers who aren’t even competing in the race. The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that the Las Vegas Grand Prix circuit, and its related upgrades and infrastructure renovations, will cost an estimated $80m. Clark County Commissioners voted on June 6 to negotiate with F1 regarding its request for a contribution of $40m in public funds. The vote narrowly passed 4-3. A privately funded repaving project actually began in April for the much-anticipated November event. Public roads will comprise a large part of the Grand Prix’s racetrack, including Las Vegas Boulevard, Harmon Avenue and Sands Avenue. Liberty Media is funding these works, with final paving occurring from mid-July to mid-September.

Raised taxi rates in Las Vegas may also contribute to a vehicle-based economic boom. The ‘drop rate,’ which all taxis charge as a passenger enters the car, is said to increase from $3.50 to $5.25. Fare structures were approved at a meeting of the Taxicab Authority in June, and said to be commensurate with inflation. Meters and rate cards will need to be updated to reflect the price changes, and there’s no current deadline set for when this will be completed, though November is a possibility.

Price increases will help to pay drivers more during heavy traffic and unusual hours, as well as surge during special events occurring in the area, such as the Las Vegas Grand Prix. This model, based on a system already in place by Uber and Lyft, will encourage more drivers to work during busy times and take more passenger fares. It’s hard to say who may end up doing more laps of Vegas during the busy weekend…

The Las Vegas Grand Prix has already brought in hundreds of millions of dollars before the laps have even begun. Though it’s still speculative to predict how fast that spending will take effect on the Vegas economy, we’re guessing it could be at least 200mph. 


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