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Las Vegas gets green light for 2023 Formula One race

Updated March 30, 2022 - 9:37 pm

Formula One racing is set to take place on the Las Vegas Strip beginning in 2023.

The Las Vegas Grand Prix is slated to occur at night on a yet-to-be-named Saturday in November 2023, Formula One and Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority officials announced Wednesday at The Cosmopolitan.

The race will mark the third Formula One ra in the U.S., with the Las Vegas Strip and its landmark properties as the backdrop. The other races are in Miami and Austin, Texas.

“This is an incredible moment for Formula One that demonstrates the huge appeal and growth of our sport with a third race in the U.S.,” said Stefano Domenicali, president and CEO of Formula One. “Las Vegas is a destination known around the world for its excitement, hospitality, thrills, and of course, the famous Strip. There is no better place for Formula 1 to race than in the global entertainment capital of the world and we cannot wait to be here next year.”

The race is set to take place in Las Vegas for at least three years, but race organizers are hoping to extend that contractual agreement beyond that.

The track design is set to be 3.8 miles long from start to finish with top speeds of over 212 mph anticipated. The race will include 50 laps around the course with three main straightaways and 14 corners, including a high speed cornering sequence and a single chicane, or serpentine, section.

Formula One and Liberty Media will work together to promote the race in partnership with Live Nation Entertainment and the LVCVA. Founding partners Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, and Wynn Las Vegas and presenting partners MSG Sphere, Resorts World and the Venetian Resort will also play a part in the event’s promotion.

“Iconic Las Vegas and Formula One, the pinnacle of motorsport, is the perfect marriage of speed and glamour,” Greg Maffei, Liberty Media president and CEO, said. “Our confidence in this unique opportunity is evident in our decision to assume the promoter role for the Las Vegas Grand Prix in partnership with Live Nation. We could not be more excited to work with our local partners to create a marquee event. The potential of Formula 1 has been well demonstrated over the last several seasons and the Las Vegas GP will only take it to the next level.”

Steve Hill, president and CEO of the LVCVA said the tourism agency will invest around $6 million annually toward the race, with the resort partners also putting an undisclosed amount toward hosting the race.

“This is the best place to put on a grand prix,” Hill said. “I think it’s going to benefit everybody involved.”

Hill said he is looking forward to the race taking place in Las Vegas next year, noting the addition of the race enhances the city’s sports reputation.

“Spectators will experience the unrivaled thrill of watching these world-class drivers race through what is sure to become one of the most iconic racetracks in the world,” Hill said. “Formula One and Liberty Media have been incredible partners, and we look forward to November 2023 when we once again showcase that Las Vegas is ‘The Greatest Arena on Earth.’”

The race will mark the first time Las Vegas has hosted a Formula One race since a 1981-82 race held in the Caesars Palace parking lot.

Hosting the race will be a large undertaking and include multiple departments within Clark County. There will be some road work required before the race, but Hill said it will be minimal impact to the public.

“We’ll do it in pieces so we can leave the street open throughout,” Hill said. “There is a fair amount of construction that needs to be done. The Strip needs to be turned into a Formula One approvable circuit. That’s not what we have right now.”

After the initial race is held in 2023, they’ll have course foundations already in place, which will cut down on setup time going forward, Hill said.

For the race itself, Las Vegas Boulevard will be shut down for about six or seven hours at a time that Thursday, Friday and Saturday to allow for practices, qualifying and and the race itself to occur.

“It does cause some disruption,” Hill said. “We are committed to building a couple of temporary vehicular bridges over some of the eastern parts of the circuit. So that there is vehicle access, particularly for emergency vehicles while the race is on.”

All that work is set to pay off as the race is expected to bring in over 170,000 visitors to Las Vegas, creating an indirect economic impact of about $1 billion, according to Gov. Steve Sisolak.

“I think this ranks right up there with the Super Bowl, to be honest,” Sisolak said. “Super Bowl we have one shot at it right now… but this is a three-year commitment, but I know they want to stay for more than three years. That’s a big commitment in Las Vegas. When I talk about the impact, that’s for one year. When you extrapolate that over three years it’s going to keep a lot of people working and bring a lot of people into these rooms. They’re estimating over 400,000 room nights for the first race, so that’s a lot of bodies in those rooms.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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