Resale ticket prices for the highly anticipated Las Vegas Grand Prix have plummeted ahead of Formula 1 racing’s return to Sin City, as cold weather and a race favorite’s capture of the F1 title last month hamper fans’ expectations—despite race organizers boasting immaculate late-night views under the Las Vegas Strip’s neon skyline.
The cheapest tickets to the Heineken Las Vegas Grand Prix on Saturday fell to $807 on the resale market by Tuesday, a 51% drop from last month ($1,645) and a 23% decline from just under a week ago ($1,060), according to ticket data site TickPick—primary ticket prices through the Grand Prix have not changed.
Prices have also crumbled for practice and qualifying events this weekend, including Thursday’s practice, which fell 70% from a month ago (from $385 to $119), and Friday’s practice, which dropped 68% over the same period (from $825 to $259), according to TickPick.
Ticket site TicketiQ estimates the average list price on the secondary market for Saturday’s main event has dropped 33% to $1,701, with a get-in price of $823 (the most expensive seat on the secondary market costs a whopping $28,528).
TickPick CEO Brett Goldberg said the race initially “garnered significant buzz,” but has tapered off due to waning fan excitement, noting race favorite Max Verstappen already won this year’s championship at a race last month in Qatar.
Local Fox affiliate Fox 5 Vegas also reported the late start time and this weekend’s chilly weather could play a factor in fizzling ticket prices, with late-night lows forecasted to drop into the low 50s for Saturday’s main event — the race is slated to start at 10 p.m. local time.
Weekend hotel prices have also dropped, and now range from $900 to $2,182 for the average cheapest available four-night stay, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.
The race — F1’s first in Las Vegas in more than 40 years — has made the iconic Vegas Strip unrecognizable, CNN reported, with The Bellagio’s sweeping fountains drained to provide space for the track. University of Nevada Las Vegas history professor Michael Green told the Associated Press the removal of Vegas’ iconic features is “clearly causing a lot of uproar,” labeling the redesign “Stripmageddon.”
$400 million to $500 million. That’s how much the race is estimated to cost, according to Formula 1 owner Liberty Media, which disclosed it had spent $280 million on the 3.8-mile track. Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Steve Hill told Forbes the cost could be substantially higher, noting in order to make space for the track, Liberty Media purchased nearly 40 acres of prime real estate, costing it roughly $250 million, before spending more than $100 million on the track itself, plus a permanent 300,000 square-foot building at $1,000 per square foot. Altogether, Hill estimated the cost might be closer to $650 million.
Saturday’s main race is slated to start at 10 p.m. PST, meaning viewers on the East Coast will need to stay up until 1 a.m. Sunday to catch the race. Saturday’s qualifier, the night before, is scheduled for a midnight start (3 a.m. EST).
Three Vegas hotel and casino stalwarts reached last-minute labor deals with a major Las Vegas casino union in recent days, preventing a strike that would have left the casinos hamstrung just weeks before thousands of people flocked to the city for the Grand Prix weekend. MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment — the parent to Caesars Palace and Planet Hollywood — reached tentative deals last week, and Wynn Resorts struck a deal with the Culinary and Bartenders unions on Sunday, just hours before the deadline to avert a strike.
Formula 1 entered into a three-year agreement with Las Vegas for the annual race, though Clark County, Nevada, officials granted race organizers permission earlier this year to host the race through at least 2032. The 50-lap, 193-mile race is Formula 1’s first in Las Vegas since the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix, a smaller course confined primarily to the parking lot of Caesars Palace, which has been dubbed one of the worst F1 courses of all time. This weekend’s course, by comparison, puts drivers down the middle of the Las Vegas Strip. It marks the city’s latest venture in professional sports, following the relocation of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas in 2020 and the creation of the NHL’s Golden Knights in 2017. Construction on the course, however, had for months turned what will be a racetrack into a standstill, causing an uproar among Vegas residents. Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei apologized to Vegas residents Tuesday morning for disruptions from construction, telling Fox News he estimates the event will bring in more than 100,000 people and roughly $1.7 billion in revenue to the city. Maffei also told Sports Business Journal in a September 2022 interview he hopes Vegas will be “the home of Formula1 in the U.S.”