Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Las Vegas Strip Circuit, 2023

F1 must tackle “incredibly expensive” Vegas ticket prices – Leclerc

Formula 1

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Charles Leclerc and Daniel Ricciardo have both expressed concerns over the extremely high ticket prices for the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix.

The newest event on the F1 calendar – taking place this weekend for the first time – has the highest base ticket prices in the history of Formula 1, with general admission tickets around the MSG Sphere on sale for $966 (£844), which do not provide a view of the circuit.

Asked by RaceFans whether the high cost of tickets risked alienating many fans, Leclerc said “that is a really, really good point.”

“I hope that Formula 1 is working around that,” Leclerc continued, “because for sure there’s been many events now that are just incredibly expensive. Also like real fans that really love the sport cannot even afford to get to the races and actually watch the races. So this is definitely an issue that has to be tackled.”

Ricciardo agreed with his rival that the sport needed to strike “a balance” when it came to exclusivity and affordability.

“I did hear some entry-level prices – I’m well aware that not everyone can afford those,” Ricciardo said in response to a question from RaceFans.

“I would love that everyone can have the option to attend. Obviously I’m not the business behind the sport. I don’t want to say it’s my ignorance, but I would still love that the general admission [ticket] is affordable for anyone, whatever job they have. Of course if there’s then some crazy packages and people want to spend that money – all good, so be it. But I guess I don’t like to hear ‘we would have loved to come, but we just simply couldn’t afford it’ – that’s obviously a little bit tough.

“Again, I’m not saying I agree with it, but maybe this is that little outlier of a weekend where that’s the crowd that they kind of want to go after. And if that’s what it is, then obviously that’s their kind of business plan. I’m not really sure where they are with it. Obviously everyone’s got different lifestyles and levels of income, so it would be nice that the sport remains accessible for everyone.”

With the marketing and entertainment factor surrounding the race turned up to the maximum, Leclerc says he understands why Formula 1 and its ownership are pulling out all the stops for this new event.

“It’s a lot, but I think if you don’t do that here, you don’t do that anywhere,” said Leclerc.

“What’s most important to me is that the DNA of the sport remains the same. However, we need to also take opportunities of this kind of event in such incredible cities and make something around it that will maybe attract people that are not interested in racing at first, but that then once they get to see the cars in real life, then get interested into racing.

“This could mean potentially many more fans for the sport in the years to come. So I think it’s great what F1 has done until now.”

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2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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24 comments on “F1 must tackle “incredibly expensive” Vegas ticket prices – Leclerc”

  1. Getting paid million of dollars probably doesn’t help price tickets either.

    1. One has nothing to do with the other

      1. Not quite nothing; teams derive a significant part of their budget from the annual commercial payout. As much as people like to complain about Liberty, the teams are just as money hungry as they are – and they compensate themselves very well. While the Las Vegas case is slightly unusual, F1 usually ‘requests’ an enormous fee to put up a show, and since F1 also claims exclusive rights to all the trackside advertising, one of the few ways venues have to generate revenue is with the ticket prices.

        1. Teams used to dump more money on drivers even before they had such huge revenues. Michael was on 100m at some point in time.

          1. F1 Fan, the sorts of figures thrown around for claimed salaries should be treated with a bit of caution though.

            It’s worth noting that, in pretty much all discussions around driver salaries, the headline figures aren’t actually broken down into their component parts – i.e. it’s not made clear what is the base salary, what additional payments there are (e.g. performance related bonuses) and what comes from other sources (particularly personal sponsorship deals) that may be brokered through the team.

            You also have the complication that, in the past, some drivers might receive a significant portion of their salary from one of the sponsors of the team. One of the better known historical examples was Ayrton Senna – we now know, since the contract has come into the public domain, that most of Senna’s salary came directly from Marlboro tobacco.

        2. MichaelN, as noted below, until they started discounting the tickets more recently, the average 3 day ticket for Las Vegas was retailing at around $1600-1700, or around 3-4 times what most other venues charge.

          From the start, Liberty Media’s strategy in the build up to this race was to promote it as an ostentatious event for the highest of the high rollers – in other words, the sort of person who would want the tickets to be expensive to make them a status symbol and a mark of their affluence. The tickets weren’t meant to be that affordable for the average fan because they were not the audience that Liberty Media was going after in the first place.

  2. I just read that the cheapest “get in” price for the GP was originally around $1600. As of yesterday it had dropped to around $800. Still way too much.

    1. That’s about £650, which isn’t ridiculous compared to many European rounds aiming you’re talking about race day general admission. It’s about £450 at Silverstone. It’s certainly expensive, but not as outrageous as it may say first seem.

      That said, this is all in the context of ticket prices being vastly too high in general….

      1. @drmouse Worth noting as well that ticket prices have spiked dramatically in recent years, Silverstone and I think also Spa in particular (they’re the ones I’ve noticed the most, being from the UK). As you say, prices are, at the moment, far too high in my opinion and at the moment is the key reason I won’t be attending any races.

      2. It cost around $2,000 per person the last time I went to Montreal in 2015 for three-day passes. Granted, the seats changed every day and were always in one of the most desirable locations.

    2. Julie Pembleton
      16th November 2023, 20:41

      Still far far too much. It is what I expect in US. All this show and hope will have nothing to do with CHEER LEADERS.
      I would not has any race in US and would never go to a F1 race over there.

  3. The prices for this place was way too expensive! I live in Southern California and was looking forward to attend the race and once the tickets prices came out it was a hell no! The track sucks with no challenging turns, just flat out straights and a couple turns, that’s it! As boring as the races have been, I’d rather spend my hard earned money on a MotoGP race which is cheaper and way more exciting! F1 glory days are gone!

  4. What irks me the most about these sort of races and how Liberty media wants to make new fans or whatever is that they treat people so differently. Why Las Vegas gets all the bizz, the ceremonies, the pre race events and you cannot even attend the winter tests anymore because they are “private”? They tell you they want more people engaged in the sport but at the same time make it difficult for anyone to experience it, with shady TV deals and overpriced tickets. You can’t even buy Friday only tickets these days

  5. Liberty have sunk $500,000,000 into this. Not sure accessible ticket prices are on the agenda. I think the days of F1 being accessible are long gone, especially at somewhere like Las Vegas. I can’t see how prices can come down without that being an issue for Liberty from an investor point of view. Or maybe they’ve factored all this in. Charge high for the first one, knowing their may be a natural decline, or re-assessment, in demand the next year.

  6. As much as I love F1, I’ll just enjoy it from my comfortable couch with my $6 6 pack of beer, $.50 bag of popcorn and $65/month subscription of YouTubeTV

    1. Crikey, that’s a lot of money for youtube

  7. The problem with charging a ridiculously high price for the first event is that some people might turn up and be disappointed, in view of what they have paid. Then not come again.

    Surely the whole event has to provide some kind of value for money? Las Vegas would not it seems even if it was the greatest race circuit on earth (unlikely??).

  8. F1 is going to reduce those prices for next year by hosting a terrible race. Worst race of the season.

    1. @jimfromus It comes to something when, less than 24 hours after that post was written, it comes across as optimism.

  9. I’m surprised they care that much about something that has zero effect on them since they’re driving rather than spectating on grandstands.

    1. To be fair, Ricciardo has spent most of this season spectating!

  10. It’s not just the high ticket pricing. You have to fly to Vegas, pay inflated hotel and restaurant prices, all to watch midnight qualifying and racing, in really cold conditions, and for a championship already decided. Sounds like a fun weekend.

  11. Frederick Mark Briggs
    16th November 2023, 23:12

    Silverstone British grand prix £300+Park and ride on the days race too expensive . To fi da spot to watch the race .should be a lot lower for a fan

  12. Rafael Oliveira Frota
    17th November 2023, 14:53

    I love the fact that I watched 3 races in Brazil for 50-70 USD (3 days). It was the cheapest but I was right at Reta oposta and watched the battle between Lewis and Verstappen in 2021.

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