Las Vegas Grand Prix Overview

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Las Vegas Sphere displaying Formula 1 logo on race weekend. Photo by Dominick Delpech.

The Formula 1 officially came to Las Vegas for the first time since the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix. One of the most awaited sporting events of 2023, The Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix was hosted on the Las Vegas Strip. However, while many awaited its arrival, some were skeptical, while others hated the idea completely. As the race concludes, one question remains: was the Las Vegas Grand Prix worth the hype? That is what I will answer by looking at the pros and cons of the event. Let’s start with the pros. 

PROS

All-inclusive food and complimentary beverages

The first pro is that all the food and all nonalcoholic beverages, except for the body armor drinks, were all-inclusive. Considering an event of this size and the long hours duration, this would be a perfect time to raise the prices on food and make good sales, but instead, they chose to make it all-inclusive along with the beverages. Not just that, but the food was good and didn’t taste cheap. Perhaps the food price was charged in the tickets, but it doesn’t matter because it always feels better to grab as much food as you want rather than waiting in line and paying every time. 

The view

Additionally, a main attraction was the atmosphere; the Las Vegas Strip is an iconic location. The view was phenomenal from almost any angle, with views like the Sphere, Bellagio, the LINQ, and many more. It was surreal, and that feeling of being at the iconic Las Vegas Strip while watching the race has no price tag.

Great results despite time constraints

According to Terry Miller, project manager for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, this F1 project on the Las Vegas Strip is one of the most aggressive design and construction projects he has ever seen. Taking that into consideration, what they have been able to achieve is beyond impressive. The stands are enormous and solid, and the concerts and entertainment are fun, enjoyable, and well-organized. Even the staff working the bars and games were very efficient.

Employee efficiency

The event was huge, and the staff was phenomenal. The staff ensured lines moved quickly, keeping wait times short. They also provided an engaging, fun environment in the entertainment area. 

Fun and entertainment

On the entertainment topic, the games and events were proponents of the race. F1 had musical artists and games, depending on where you watched the race. And while the priority was the race, having things to do while waiting was a great addition. 

Its F1

Last but not least, it’s the F1 itself. I know that’s what you are paying for, but being there and seeing the event as a whole is a spectacle and a gain of its own. Not to mention, it was a fascinating race, and so much happened. All three racers who placed on the podium, Sergio Pérez, Charles Leclerc, and Max Verstappen, were in first place at some point during the race. Lando Norris had a crash, and Verstappen won the race with a five-second penalty. 

CONS

Mysterious manhole

The first day of F1 put doubt on the event turnout as just eight minutes into the racers driving after all the hype and wait, a loose manhole cover damaged the cars of Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon. It halted the practice rounds, keeping people waiting hours for the practice rounds to resume, only for them to be behind closed doors.

Compensation

While there is debate about whether Vegas could have done better on the loose manhole, what is indisputable is that it is an unforeseen event. No one expected that to happen, but the way the staff handled the situation was a major con. People were told the race would continue, so they waited hours only to be told the rest of the training will be held without an audience.

Conclusion

Considering the efforts that went into this project and the circumstances the organizers were working with, the event had a great turnout, besides the loose maintenance hole. As the race continued, the event changed its reputation from being considered the worst F1 race of all time to possibly the best, depending on who you ask. However, it is without a doubt that this race was for show, as Verstappen said. If this event was about the sport, then it could have been held at the speedway, which would have solved all the cons and been favored much more by locals as it wouldn’t have blocked all the Strip and caused traffic. The most significant selling point for this race was having a worldwide sport held at a worldwide known location like Vegas, specifically the iconic Las Vegas strip. Many can still hate the race or judge it, but it garnered 315,000 fans to the Las Vegas strip, and the $500 million gamble paid off as the race racked in $1.7 billion with a profit of $1.2 billion. The race also had a record-breaking $100,000 fiscal impact on tax revenue to benefit the Las Vegas community. This race now ranks as the seventh highest-grossing sports event in the USA. While there were pros and cons, the event was remarkable.

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