Las Vegas Sun

May 22, 2024

Las Vegas tourism officials OK $19.5 million for trio of Formula One races

Lewis Hamilton

Andre Penner / AP

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, of Britain, steers his car Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, during the qualifying session for the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at at the Interlagos race track in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Hamilton clocked the fastest time and took the pole position.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority agreed today to spend up to $19.5 million to bring Formula One racing here for the next three years.

“The scale of Formula One is huge, and it’s growing,” said Steve Hill, CEO of the tourism agency. “The audience for their events, worldwide, is over 80 million people per race. That rivals the Super Bowl.”

The LVCVA agreed to spend up to $6.5 million a year for services related to the open-wheel car races, such as traffic control and communications, in 2023, 2024 and 2025.

“The intention of everyone involved, I think, is for this to be a permanent thing here in Las Vegas,” Hill said.

The first race — the Las Vegas Grad Prix — will take place next year on a 3.8-mile course along the Strip and a number of surrounding streets. It is expected to draw close to 170,000 visitors.

The LVCVA’s agreement is with Liberty Dice, a Nevada-registered subsidiary of Liberty Media, which owns the Formula One racing circuit.

“I think they see how much this can mean for their company and for their Formula One brand,” Hill said.

As part of the deal, Liberty will get access to space at the Las Vegas Convention Center and a network of up to 10,000 volunteers.

“This partnership is a sign that Las Vegas is back, and Las Vegas is the place to be,” Hill said.

Already popular worldwide, Formula One racing has gained audience in the United States through the popular Netflix show “Drive to Survive.”