F1 Heading to Las Vegas in a $1 Billion Gamble

Formula 1 will be making a third stop in America next season racing along the iconic Las Vegas Strip and adding to its races in Miami and Austin, Texas.

The announcement was made in typical Vegas pageantry Wednesday night with Liberty Media President and CEO Greg Maffei and F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali in attendance. They were joined by Nevada Governor, Steve Sisolak, CEO and president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) Steve Hill and President and CEO of Live Nation Entertainment, Michael Rapino.

“Iconic Las Vegas and Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport, is the perfect marriage of speed and glamour,” said Maffei. “Our confidence in this unique opportunity is evident in our decision to assume the promoter role for the Las Vegas Grand Prix in partnership with Live Nation.

“We could not be more excited to work with our local partners to create a marquee event, Maffei added. “The potential of Formula 1 has been well demonstrated over the last several seasons and the Las Vegas GP will only take it to the next level.”

Live Nation Entertainment and the LVCVA), as well as Founding Partners Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, and Wynn Las Vegas and Presenting Partners MSG Sphere, Resorts World Las Vegas and The Venetian Resort will promote the event alongside Liberty Media.

“We eagerly anticipate the moment when the history, energy and momentum of Formula 1 will culminate in an unforgettable Saturday night on the Las Vegas Strip,” Hill said. “Spectators will experience the unrivalled thrill of watching these world-class drivers race through what is sure to become one of the most iconic racetracks in the world.

“Formula 1 and Liberty Media have been incredible partners, and we look forward to November 2023 when we once again showcase that Las Vegas is ‘The Greatest Arena on Earth’.”

The series raced in Las Vegas in 1981 and 82. The races were the final races of the season in 81 and 82 and took place at a small 14 turn layout surrounding Caesars Palace where speeds topped out around 100 mph. Famously the circuit was counterclockwise which put a strain on drivers and leading to what some called a “Las Vegas neck.”

This return however will see racing along the entire Strip. In 2023 the 14-turn 3.8-mile layout will race pas the famous hotels and casinos and is expected to hit speeds nearing 212 mph. The race itself will be held on a Saturday night, will be in November, with the exact date to be announced later.

According to some reports, the race will be worth more than $100 million per race with the arrangement expect to last a decade. If all that plays out, F1 would generate over a billion dollars, making Las Vegas the most profitable grand prix ever for the sport, and a jackpot for Liberty Media.

“This is an incredible moment for Formula 1 that demonstrates the huge appeal and growth of our sport with a third race in the US,” Domenicali said. “Las Vegas is a destination known around the world for its excitement, hospitality, thrills, and of course, the famous Strip.

“There is no better place for Formula 1 to race than in the global entertainment capital of the world and we cannot wait to be here next year.”

Greg Engle