Formula 1 Racing

Why Las Vegas isn’t sitting on its laurels despite year one F1 success

F1 not interested in divide-and-conquer tactics for next Concorde Agreement

Despite the early drama of the loose water valve cover that risked derailing the event almost before it got going, a spectacular race on Sunday helped it live up to the anticipation.

But perhaps the best news for organisers and the city came a few weeks later when a report concluded that the overall economic impact of the Las Vegas Grand Prix had been $1.5 billion – which was well up on the Super Bowl’s $1 billion injection.

The feel-good factor was obvious, but that is not to say that Las Vegas got everything right and is happy to sit back and automatically expect a repeat.

Indeed, as it braces itself for what can sometimes be a challenging year two for grands prix, it has taken on board some important lessons from what it felt it could have done better.

One of the key ones will be pricing: with there being an acceptance that everyone perhaps pitched things too high last year – both in terms of ticket prices and hotel rooms.

Speaking at a special F1 in Depth forum in association with Autosport Business at the Monaco Grand Prix, senior figures from the Las Vegas Grand Prix felt they were much wiser going into year two.

Sean McBurney, regional vice president of Caesars Palace, said: “We’re very happy with what we’re seeing so far. What I think is, if you go through the evolution of last year, everyone was very aggressive with pricing, and I think we all got that wrong.

“When you look at prices today, prices are closer to an average of where we ultimately ended, as everybody started very high. Then people ultimately had to lower their rates.”

Ticket prices are coming down too, with more general admission availability that should open up to the casual fan.

Formula 1 in Depth event

McBurney added: “With any major event, there’s going to be learnings. I think the biggest one for us was having a broader set of tickets available and packages, so that a broader set of the population could participate in the event.

“What you’re seeing now is about 7000 more GA tickets than what we saw last year. There’s a flamingo zone where single day tickets is $150, and three-day passes $600.

“What I think you’ll see this year is a broader spectrum of packages available, and more of the population, more of the fanbase able to participate in the event than what we saw last year.”

Las Vegas will also benefit from the fact that it has been through the event once now – so there are a lot more certainties in terms of…

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