Formula 1 gambles on Las Vegas

Formula 1 gambles on Las Vegas
Las Vegas. Image by 272447 from Pixabay

LAS VEGAS – After 40 years, Formula 1 Racing is returning to the Silver State with a new route designed to test drivers and delight spectators. Formula 1 and state officials announced that the Las Vegas Grand Prix will take place in 2023 against the backdrop of the famous Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas previously hosted Formula 1 in the early 1980s when the race was held at the Caesars Palace casino parking lot. The race was dropped due to low attendance and circuit challenges. For its grand return, race designers produced 31 different course options, before settling on a 3.8 mile, 14-turn track that includes a signature stretch down the Strip. 

“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,” F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali said at the event announcement last week.

The Las Vegas Grand Prix will be held at night and, with 50 laps, is expected to reach top speeds of approximately 212 mph. Organizers hope racing under the neon lights of the Strip will make this a flagship event for Formula 1 and for Nevada. 

“Spectators will experience the unrivaled thrill of watching these world-class drivers race through what is sure to become one of the most iconic racetracks in the world,” Steve Hill, CEO and President of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said. 

Already the announcement of the Las Vegas Grand Prix has generated media buzz and fan excitement. State leaders estimate approximately 170,000 visitors will come to Las Vegas for the event. “The direct economic impact is approaching half a billion dollars, and the indirect impact will be over a billion dollars by the time we’re done,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said.

With an initial three-year contract, Formula 1 is the latest major league sports organization to make a long-term commitment to Las Vegas, joining the National Football League’s Raiders and the National Hockey League’s Golden Knights. 

With the announcement of the race, Las Vegas joins Miami, Florida and Austin, Texas to be the third Formula 1 race in the United States.

Dates for the Las Vegas Grand Prix have not yet been announced, but Formula 1 officials say it will take place with a 10 p.m. start time on a Saturday in November 2023. Practice will be held on the Thursday before and qualifying on Friday. The complete schedule and ticket information will be announced at a later date. 

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