Ray Acevedo/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez drives on a track on the Las Vegas Strip during the 2022 F1 Las Vegas launch party.
Ticket and hotel room prices are falling sharply in Las Vegas as the gambling mecca prepares to host its first Formula One Grand Prix race in four decades next week.
Enthusiasm has “started to fade” in recent weeks, with a “significant factor” being that driver Max Verstappen has already won this year’s championship title in Qatar on October 7, dampening the enthusiasm of fans in this sport as the end of the season approaches, according to TickPick CEO Brett Goldberg.
This resulted in a drop in ticket prices. According to TickPick, they plunged 35% in the last month for the Saturday race, with the average grandstand price dropping from $1,645 to $1,060 for grandstand seats. A year ago, tickets cost around $2,000 for the Las Vegas race.
Prices for Thursday’s practice and Friday’s qualifying races also fell dramatically. The current entry price fell about 50%, from $385 to $180 on Thursday, and on Friday prices fell almost 60%, from $825 to $342.
“The race generated significant buzz when it was first announced and as more details emerged regarding the track layout on the Strip,” Goldberg told CNN, adding that the event does not approach the record price from March’s F1 race in Miami. .
Prices could “easily change” after practice next Thursday, when fans can see the course winding across the Strip in action, Goldberg added. Next weekend’s race will be the first time it has been held on the Strip, the previous race being the Grands Prix at Caesars Palace in 1981 and 1982.
Perhaps dampening the enthusiasm is the location of the stands and track, which makes many parts of the Strip unrecognizable. The iconic Mirage volcano is closed until December, and the Bellagio fountains that dance in front of the resort have also been turned off.
“Regardless, this represents a great opportunity for F1 fans and those visiting Las Vegas to attend a marquee event at an affordable price,” Goldberg said.
The drop in prices also affects hotel rooms. The average price hovers around $283 per night, according to Kayak data provided to CNN. That’s down about 24% from the price average just a month ago.
However, in true Las Vegas fashion, some hotels are going all out with F1-themed weekend packages. Bellagio, owned by MGM Resorts, sold a three-day luxury package for $12,000 per person that included VIP tickets, food and wine from celebrity chefs and sommeliers as well as access to private observation decks overlooking the race.
With 100,000 participants still expected, sponsors see this as an opportunity. Heineken plans to promote itself by covering the city with its logo. Earlier this year, the brewery extended its multi-year sponsorship of all F1 races until 2027, but sees the opportunity to offer its new light beer, Heineken Silver, as that category experiences upheaval amid the fallout from Bud Light.
Las Vegas is the third American city to host an F1 race, after Miami and Austin. The popularity of the Netflix series “Drive to Survive” has been attributed, particularly by the drivers, to the increase in the audience for the sport in the United States.
In addition to the race, concerts and other events are scheduled. F1 says the race will generate $1.3 billion, making it “the largest special event in Las Vegas history.”