As the sports community turns its attention to Miami for the city’s inaugural Formula One Grand Prix, the racing organization’s ownership revealed a major investment in another city it’s bullish about.
F1 parent company Liberty Media has acquired a 39-acre site for $240 million in Las Vegas, CEO Greg Maffei told investors during Friday’s quarterly earnings call. Maffei said the site east of the Las Vegas Strip will be used for a pit-and-paddock area as well as other hospitality activities starting at next year’s new Las Vegas Grand Prix. The deal is expected to officially close later this quarter.
F1 announced in March that The Strip will be the location for its third U.S. race, joining Austin and Miami. Liberty is planting deeper roots in Vegas with this land acquisition, building out racing infrastructure in a key market where logistics surrounding the race have been a topic of concern.
F1, which doubled its first-quarter revenue from $180 million to $360 million this year, also plans to continue to promote the Vegas race long-term in conjunction with Live Nation and local partners. The acquired land, coupled with the decision to not hire a third-party promoter, highlights Liberty’s long-term vision of being a player in the local racing community—even beyond its annual F1 race.
“We’re looking at the opportunity to grow our knowledge, understanding and potentially promote other races down the road,” Maffei said on the call. “Vegas is going to be a large and unique opportunity, and from a financial perspective, we think this sets up pretty well to be worth the time and extra focus to be the promoter.”
Liberty, which also owns the Atlanta Braves, isn’t new to acquiring adjacent land to support its sports-related assets. The U.S. media conglomerate also owns The Battery Atlanta, a 60-acre, multi-use development around Truist Park. The entertainment complex, which includes restaurants and residences, generated $42 million in revenue alone during the World Series championship season last year, according to year-end reports.
Maffei declined to provide more details into other potential plans for the 39-acre site, which he says would be paid for through cash from F1, but it’s clear the parent company sees great business potential in Vegas, where racing is returning for the first time since 1982.
“We can be the enabler to maximize what Vegas can be for Formula 1 in terms of awareness, business creation and activating in an area of the world where we can bring internationally,” F1 Group CEO Stefano Domenicali added.