The Las Vegas Grand Prix has reportedly been a huge financial success for both the sport and the local area with one casino boss describing it as “New Year’s Eve.”
F1 returned to Vegas after a 41-year hiatus and although things did not go entirely smoothly, the race on Saturday went a long way to turning around some people’s opinions.
But one of the main motivating factors for putting a race on in Vegas was the money on offer and it appears to have been a huge financial success.
F1 race beats forecasts for Las Vegas Super Bowl
The Vegas race was unusual in that unlike the other 21 venues this season, Formula 1 itself was the promoter meaning that while they took home a greater share of the profits, they also footed the bill.
All told, it cost F1 a suspected $500 million to get the race on including a $240m purchase of land to hold the pit building and paddock.
But according to The Athletic, the race generated substantially more income with a $1.2 billion boost for the Las Vegas area, double what the Super Bowl is predicted to bring in next year.
The race hosts also reported that every day was a sell-out meaning 105,000 people paid somewhere from $500 to $5,000 to watch the race. Even if fans could not afford a ticket, plenty tuned in at home with the 1.3 million viewers on ESPN beating the season average of 1.12 million.
So while the race did not go off without a hitch, the money it generated would have been enough in F1’s eyes to vindicate the decision.
“For all those that were mumbling about the disruption and maybe local residents not being too happy with everyone being there, it was a bonanza night for the city of Las Vegas,” Sky F1 reporter Craig Slater said on the broadcaster’s podcast.
“In economic terms, we won’t get the full financial results until the end of the year or when the casinos published the final quarter results for the new year but one casino boss described it as being like New Year’s Eve for the race weekend itself.
“So if they can have that every year with something approaching 100,000 people coming in, many of the big casinos were sold out with room rates by all accounts still pretty high, this is a success story for Las Vegas.
“No question, I think we will be there for the entirety of the contract and maybe beyond.”