Tickets to the Las Vegas Grand Prix, the new addition to the 2023 F1 calendar, aren’t cheap to begin with. And for those prepared to pay top-dollar, the casino-hotels backing the race are touting lavish packages with eye-watering price tags.2023 F1 season. It is one of the founding partners of the event which F1 had to work with to make the grand prix possible.
Last month it announced an F1-endorsed ‘Million Dollar All-Access Experience’ at a cost of – surprisingly enough – $1,000,000 (£830,000). The “personally curated” package for six people ($166,666.67 per person) begins with the event’s opening ceremony on Wednesday and ends when the race does late on Saturday night.
For the seven-figure the six race attendees receive access to Wynn’s private hospitality within F1’s VIP Paddock Club, luxury transport to and from the paddock and the city airport to their hotel throughout their four-night stay and access to all of Wynn’s facilities as well as a three-litre jeroboam bottle of champagne.
But that $1 million package has already been relegated, seemingly, to second-best. The Caesars Palace resort on the pit straight down the road has announced a $5 million (£4.1m) “Emperor Package” for the grand prix weekend.
Another of the race’s founding partners, Caesars’ package includes five nights in a three-bedroom villa and another checklist of lavish luxuries. They include 24-hour butler service and a terrace to which 75 people can be invited to watch the track action. There are also 12 Paddock Club tickets, dinner for a dozen from a celebrity chef and an invitation to a performance by singer Adele.
Will any buyers be found for either of these giga-expensive F1 viewing opportunities? Or for any more elaborate and expensive packages other hotels may cook up?
There’s a distinct possibility that none of these will be snapped up. But that doesn’t matter – it’s all part of the promotional game. The perception that casinos who collaborated on bringing F1 to Las Vegas are trying to outdo each other with their treatment of ‘VIPs’ only serves to keep the spotlight on a race in which all parties have a shared interest.
A variety of publications and social media influencers have drawn attention to the price tag and details of the deals. This builds two important perceptions: that the Las Vegas Grand Prix is a must-attend event, and that is already a success. Neither of those statements could be true, but that’s the point of good marketing. The shock value of the highest prices may prompt would-be attendees into searching for cheaper ways of gaining ‘exclusive access’ to the grand prix.
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How F1 is avoiding the errors of past Las Vegas races
Previous attempt at racing in Las Vegas has not delivered long-term success. F1’s last appearance there was one of several events which had short lifespans, an outcome the grand prix organisers are eager to avoid.
A permanent track in the west of the city hosted North America’s top sportscar championships from 1966 to 1968, before being demolished. Then Formula 1 arrived in 1981 to race on a temporary circuit in the car park of the Caesars Palace hotel.
The uninspiring track layout, the searing daytime heat, the money lost in running the event and a variety of other factors made it an undoubted failure. F1 kept well away from the famed city in the Nevada desert despite its obvious appeal to F1’s then-commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone.
CART raced at the same Ceasars Palace track for two years once F1 left, and returned to Las Vegas in 1996 once a new oval was built in the city’s north-east. But promoting this event proved just as difficult, as the hot weather remained a problem and the location of the track meant there was no visual association with the city.
Champ Car hit the city centre in 2007, six kilometres up the road from F1’s new venue, but that track never got a second chance. A few tall hotels in the background was not enough for viewers to make the association with Las Vegas, a city whose most immediately recognisable landmark is the signature strip which F1 has made a feature of its new course.
IndyCar has not returned to the Las Vegas oval since the horrific 2011 crash which killed Dan Wheldon in the series’ self-styled ‘world championship’ race. Circuit president Chris Powell says the track has been in contact with IndyCar multiple times in the years to discuss a future race, but the series considers a return “too emotional” at this stage.
For F1’s return in 2023 the boxes that needed to be ticked appear to have been achieved. A city centre location with views of and racing on the iconic Last Vegas Strip, a late start time which will give lower temperatures that should make the event less gruelling for drivers and teams, and the scope to do a lot of work with the off-track package to make the event more viable and adaptable as a long-term fixture on the F1 calendar.
Key to that latter point is promotion, which is normally in the hands of specific event organisers. But this time, in a first, F1 has taken matters into its own hands.
The logistical impact of an F1 race on the streets of the city was always going to complicate matters for casinos who rely on footfall for revenue. This will be addressed via the construction of many bridges around the site to ease the passage of workers and punters.
Nonetheless F1’s arrival will inevitably disrupt the casinos’ business, which is why it was vital to get them on-side. They are publicising the race as much as possible before ahead of its November 2023 date, and the marketing of these hugely expensive Las Vegas Formula 1 packages is further evidence of that. Some in the city are already talking about the grand prix being its first billion-dollar event.
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26 comments on “The ‘$5 million GP ticket’: Why Las Vegas is raising the stakes on F1 tour packages”
28th December 2022, 11:43
I’d have thought for that price people would get their name added as a prefix to the Grand Prix name, have a private engineering lesson with Adrian Newey, driving tips from your favourite driver and some pedicure done by Domenicali but no.
Just a paddock VIP access and a room with a price absolutely blown out of proportions.
28th December 2022, 12:48
What a joke.
Enjoy it while you can F1 in a couple of years you’ll be paying people to go.
28th December 2022, 14:39
Agree, 5 millions for a ticket is outrageous, I don’t get it.
28th December 2022, 16:49
Isn’t that $5mil for 75 people? Still a lot but it sounds better that you can invite 74 friends
31st December 2022, 18:45
No, the terrace for viewing holds 75 people. Gourmet dinner, Paddock Clus, etc. are for 12 and 3 bedroom villa is included.
It strikes me that the race is just part of the package and not the focus. That says to me that the Caesar’s Palace feels that those who buy that package won’t care much about the race itself.
28th December 2022, 14:19
The problem is not having a difficult time being associated with Vegas. The problem is the tracks are dull and lead to uninspiring racing. As soon as the initial glitz of a new event wears off, there is nothing to keep people interested if the races themselves aren’t any good. Champ Car fans quickly recognized the city track was garbage and when the merger with the IRL happened this track was dropped from the calendar. If it had been such a great success as articles at the time said, it would have stuck around for a second year. I am sure we will hear a lot of the same about F1 in Vegas. It is an incredible success and surpassed everyone’s wildest imaginations. If the race itself is dull, Vegas won’t last any longer than a drunk college kid blowing all his money at a blackjack table.
28th December 2022, 14:30
Was a problem with a lot of the ‘Street Festivals Of Speed’ Champcar were going with back then.
The goal of bringing the racing to the people with street races in or close to the city centres with loads of extra activities brought in a lot of non racing fans the first year but all were ultimately failures as the the racing unmemorable (Outside of the tram line jump the first year of the San Jose race), The circuits rubbish and forgettable and they failed to keep fans coming in subsequent years which led to I think all of those circuits disappearing within a few years.
And I think the same will be true with all of these newer F1 street circuits. The initial hype & Glitz will fade and when all we are left with is an uninteresting, forgettable ‘car park’ circuit with no character that produces nothing but DRS-fest’s which lead to the races been forgettable these circuits will quickly fall away & end up on the pile with the other equally dull and forgettable failed street circuits of the past, Especially the more recent similar in style ones like Valencia & Sochi.
28th December 2022, 14:51
And yet F1 still has Monaco… Among other longstanding ‘traditional’ events.
29th December 2022, 12:34
Monaco at least has a history/heritage and is actually an interesting and challenging track with a lot of character.
And it’s also at least something completely different with a very different set of challenges with little room for error.
And it’s also a race drivers all want to win because of that.
None of these modern car parks have any of that. They are flat, featureless car parks with no character that won’t be around as long as Monaco and which nobody will miss once there gone.
29th December 2022, 15:40
It has history, for sure – but then, how did it get that history? Because F1 kept going there, even though the races were monotonous garbage.
Every track is a challenging track, and each has its own unique character.
And I wouldn’t say Monaco is substantially different from elements of, say, Baku, Saudi Arabia, Miami – and several others if the walls were simply moved up to the edge of the circuit.
As for being a race all drivers want to win…. Which one isn’t?
31st December 2022, 18:55
Monaco is VERY difficult to drive quickly. Yes, other street circuits also have close walls, but Monaco also has a number of very quick changes of direction that make a big difference. Don’t push enough and you are slow. Push just a slight bit too much and you crash. It’s a question of who can and who can’t. That’s what creates tension and drama. Then again, I guess you would likely call a 1-run baseball game Boring…
1st January 2023, 5:05
Ah, so you didn’t watch the Saudi Arabian GP, then?
You bet I would.
But not necessarily because of the score.
28th December 2022, 14:57
I’m never going to a grand prix again am I.
28th December 2022, 14:57
Judging by the folk Brundle has bumped into on his grid walk about that have no knowledge of F1, have no real interest to be there and cannot string a sentence together this $5 mil ticket is clearly for those where money is no object or they have mnore money than sense and it won’t be about the race.
Plenty of companies here have corporate boxes at football grounds to entertain clients. I doubt any of them have much clue that you have to kick the ball up and down the pitch.
29th December 2022, 8:17
So they are basically similar to the Liberty people. They also seem to be around with little knowledge of the sport, but the more on money and entertainment.
Mark in Florida
28th December 2022, 16:53
P.T. Barnum I believe said” A fool and his money are soon parted” . We’re about to witness whether this is true or not. There’s no proof of success like excess. The gibbering morons that infest the track walks will be out in force trying to out do each other at Vegas. Yeah there will people infesting the GP who normally wouldn’t bother going. But because it’s a happening event and new, they’ll show up.
28th December 2022, 17:25
A little disappointed by those, I was expecting far higher levels of ridiculousness.
If I was worth maybe… £250m… I’d buy the $1m package. I do have a greater appreciation of F1 than most people, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who can afford it, and who’ll happily pay that for themselves and five others. The $5m with 74 guests to watch the race on a terrace is a comfortable corporate jobbie for a decent-sized finance company.
Hoping one of the casinos can crack out something that’s really absurdly priced for the $1bn+ people. Include a life-sized solid-gold replica of the winning car, with a customised seat, which is also a functional toilet flushed by pressing the DRS button, or something.
Short Circuit (@jjohn)
30th December 2022, 1:48
Well I haven’t seen a Wayne Newton package yet, so there is still hope! @neilosjames
31st December 2022, 19:02
I think the real issue is hw many years those $1mil or $5mil people will show up. I think that run will be very short. Further, those folks won’t be in the grandstands. The place could still look very empty if they overlook the regular folks.
This whole deal sounds an awful lot like Bernie’s going after the old guys with the Rolexes…
28th December 2022, 20:47
Clearly the ticket for the people who want to be seen and photographed in the paddock but have no actual business there but to show they can afford this. Until someone asks for a higher price, in that case this package will be useless.
29th December 2022, 8:14
Vegas is the ultimate expression of Liberty’s desire to turn this sport into a revenue generating circus. Together with all the sandbox racing in the middle east it is a perfect illustration of their motivation.
30th December 2022, 8:55
I’m surprised no driver has gone old school and applied to run the $ symbol instead of a number. Perhaps F1 are reserving that right for the next WDC.
Mark in Florida
29th December 2022, 13:55
I had an opinion on the race and the money being spent on tickets but the autobot stopped it. Oh well some things never change on this website. Criticism not allowed people.
30th December 2022, 8:57
Any drivers criticising these prices on their media thingys?
30th December 2022, 21:59
I stayed at the Wynn last week (for work believe it or not!) and the concierge said they’ve sold all the $1 million packages and are now focussed on selling the $100,000 ones. Presumably he says that with some knowledge
30th December 2022, 22:06
Back in 1957 I attended all of the British Grand Prix for a few shillings, and best of all, I gained access to the Vanwall pit during practice and qualifying.
At the time, to me, it was a real bargain!
Today – Las Vegas and Miami leave me cold and not interested.
Comments are closed.