One of the hottest events in the U.S. and around the world is coming to Las Vegas beginning in 2023, it was announced among the famous glitz of the Nevada city on Wednesday night.
The third Formula One Grand Prix auto race in the country will be staged during a weekend in November of 2023 on a 3.8-mile track running between the casinos and hotels of the Las Vegas strip, with speeds expected to reach as high as 212 miles per hour.
It will follow Grand Prix races already scheduled this year in Miami (May 6-8) and Austin (Oct. 21-23).
The Las Vegas deal calls for three races in three years with the hope that the event will succeed and become a permanent fixture on the F1 schedule.
F1 and Liberty Media will promote the inaugural event along with Live Nation Entertainment and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).
The media conference on the fourth-floor pool level of The Cosmopolitan Of Las Vegas resort hotel was set at night, above the strip where next year a Formula One track will be constructed on iconic Las Vegas Boulevard.
“How this will happen is a mystery,” Stefano Domenicali, F1’s president and chief executive, told Sportico in an interview. “It’s a big project. It will create one of the longest straightaways in Grand Prix history.”
F1’s popularity in the U.S. was punctuated earlier this month when tickets for the event in Austin sold out in a little more than 24 hours.
With 36 million fans, the U.S. represents one of F1’s fastest growing markets. Three-day attendance at last year’s U.S. Grand Prix in Austin of 400,000 set a new F1 record. The 1.2 million viewers on ESPN made it the most-viewed race since ESPN acquired F1 rights ahead of the 2018 season. So much purchasing enthusiasm was generated that the series added the Miami race to this year’s the calendar, and Las Vegas for next year.
The race in Miami Gardens will spin around Hard Rock Stadium, home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. It’s the first F1 race in Florida since 1959.
When Liberty Media bought Formula One in 2017 for $4.6 billion in mostly debt, there was no inkling that the worldwide tour would blossom, particularly in the U.S.
Domenicali said that as little as three years ago, it would have been unheard to put a third race in the U.S.
“It hadn’t moved forward the way many sports had,” said Greg Maffei, Liberty Media’s president and chief executive. “Not as much digital media, not as much feel. The story wasn’t being told. We’ve tried to do that, and it’s led to a lot more excitement on the track and among the fans.”
The race is slated to take place on a yet-to-be-determined Saturday night, with race cars whizzing past the neon lights of the strip while completing 50 laps on a track that will include three main straightaways and 14 corners.
It will cost millions to physically produce, promote and format, with Las Vegas adding $6.5 million alone in security and infrastructure. Domenicali wouldn’t disclose the overall figure, saying, “We just hope to make more than we spend.”
The news comes on the heels of announcement by Oak View Group that the company will launch a $3 billion mixed use development in Las Vegas, including plans for a casino and a 20,000 seat arena capable of hosting an NBA team.
Founding partners Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International and Wynn Las Vegas, along with presenting partners MSG Sphere, Resorts World Las Vegas and The Venetian Resort, will also help promote the Grand Prix event.
(This article has been updated with information and quotes from Wednesday night’s press conference.)