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F1 keeping its MSG Sphere party outside — for now

Updated June 3, 2023 - 12:47 pm

F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix is staging live entertainment outside The MSG Sphere, at what is called the T-Mobile Zone when the race runs in November.

But bringing the show inside the $2.3 billion entertainment globe is not in the plans, at least currently. Even a racing series has its limits on how many cars are involved in an event.

“We are very excited for our neighbors and partners to open The Sphere, we can’t wait to see what it looks like inside when it’s actually in production,” Las Vegas Grand Prix CEO Renee Wilm said Friday after a tour of the F1 paddock building on the corner of Harmon and Koval. “We are considering many options, but there is a little bit of concern about traffic flow, because there will be so many people on that T-Mobile Zone, we need to make sure it’s safe before we see how many more people can potentially be inside The Sphere.”

The race runs Nov. 16-19. The MSG Sphere is steering clear of those dates, with “Postcard From Earth” theatrical show running Nov. 14, returning Nov. 20. Wilm said The Sphere might be used for VIP after-parties, which could be game-changing concept for such events.

Major Lazer, Mark Ronson and J Balvin are the announced headliners at the Sphere location. Cirque artists and members of Blue Man Group will cavort in the grandstand area and rove around the circuit through the entire weekend.

I’d be stunned — stunned, I tell you! — not to see other Vegas production companies involved formally in the F1 entertainment roster.

“We still have our opening ceremonies, which are still in our design-and-production phase,” Wilm said. “That will be the event to launch the entire race weekend, and that will be right here on the grid, for the benefit of the Paddock Club members as well as those in the main grandstand. We’ve only started.”^

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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