Racing driver Richard Bradley has detailed some of the enormous prices associated with the Las Vegas Grand Prix, stating that a deluxe hotel stay at the weekend could also be put to use on track.
The 2015 Le Mans winner from the LMP2 category has continued in motorsport as a driver mentor alongside his own racing, and revealed that the inflated hotel prices in Las Vegas for the Grand Prix weekend are such that those able to afford the top rates could even go racing themselves.
General admission tickets for the Las Vegas Grand Prix were quickly snapped up when they went on sale, with three-day tickets available from $500 (£407) for fans to attend the inaugural race.
Las Vegas Grand Prix hotel prices ‘put into perspective’
Reports have circulated that hotel prices have dropped significantly ahead of the race this weekend as hotels seek to fill their rooms, but Bradley believes ticket prices “don’t need to be as high as they are” in the first instance.
Hotel prices shot up around race weekend when the dates were confirmed in Las Vegas, but prices have dropped as demand settled down and the race approaches.
Looking at the higher end of the scale, Bradley, who mentors former F2 driver and current Super Formula racer Cem Bölükbaşı, researched the cost of a top-bracket stay in Las Vegas for the race.
“Just to put it into perspective how mental some of the costs were, I think it was at Caesars [Palace],” Bradley elaborated on the latest episode of the On Track GP Podcast, produced in collaboration between PlanetF1.com and DR Sports.
“One of their hospitality packages for five people at the Grand Prix, having the suite, the full works, everything, I think it was $350,000 [£285,000].
“Now, to put that into perspective, if you took that amount of money, and you contacted the Ferrari factory team as an amateur driver and said: ‘I want to race one of your official Ferrari factory GT cars for three races’, you could do that – and have 35 grand spare. That’s just to put it into perspective.”
While hotel costs have reportedly dropped a hefty amount ahead of the race weekend, the fact the race ended up at a price point out of reach of many fans was a concern in the first place.
Bradley praised the work Formula 1 owners Liberty Media have done in making the sport more accessible to people, but he hopes to see that extended in ticket prices in future – though added American sporting events are “extraordinarily expensive” to go and see live in general.
“This was the argument with Bernie [Ecclestone] before Liberty [Media] came in was that Bernie was trying to make it too exclusive and too much of a VIP thing,” he explained regarding ticket costs.
“And the paddocks were empty, there was no fan interaction, and Liberty have come along, and they’ve done all of this stuff which has created fan interaction.
“Okay, well, let’s now reflect that into the ticket prices, because they don’t need to be as high as they are.
“I mean, you look at the Premier League and how much the Premier League charges for some football matches, right. It’s extortionate.
“And then you look at Silverstone where they have 400,000 people and the cheapest ticket you can get is 400 quid or something [£409 four-day general admission ticket, £329 three-day GA ticket is also available, ed.].
“But saying that, American sports are extraordinarily expensive to go and see as a whole.
“I went and saw the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden a few years ago and that cost me $350, and that’s just for an ice hockey game.
“So it’s kind of a reflection, and it doesn’t really surprise me, especially the American races, that they are those prices.”