Las Vegas Strip Braces for Big Fees From Formula 1 Event

When the Las Vegas Strip hosts a major musical or sports event, it often becomes the largest and most spectacular extravaganza of its kind.

The Lovers & Friends sold-out concert held May 6 at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, which was attended by about 70,000 people, hosted 45 popular performers, including 50 Cent, Chris Brown, Usher, Pitbull, Nelly, Busta Rhymes, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey and Boys II Men.

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But an even higher demand ticket might be harder to get, as U2 is scheduled to open Sphere Entertainment’s  (SPHR) – Get Free Report Sphere at the Venetian on Sept. 29 and conclude its residency on Dec. 16. The legendary rock band has sold out all 18,000 tickets for each of the 25 shows, which amounts to 450,000 in total attendance over all dates. Despite the sellouts, many tickets are still available at steep prices on ticket broker sites.

In April 2022, the National Football League held its annual Draft in Las Vegas, which the NFL said was attended by over 300,000 people for the three-day event, LVSportsBiz reported.

The NFL also can expect 450,000 people to be in Vegas on Super Bowl weekend, Las Vegas Super Bowl Committee President and CEO Sam Joffray said in February 2023, including 125,000 to 150,000 traveling to the city for the game itself, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Destination for World Championship Boxing

For decades, Las Vegas has been the capital of world championship boxing events, which have included Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Larry Holmes, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield. Frazier, who died in 2011, even performed occasionally as a singer with his group The Knockouts on the Las Vegas Strip over several decades.

Many boxing matches drew crowds that were considered huge for boxing at the time, including over 29,000 for a Holmes vs. Gerry Cooney fight in 1982, over 24,000 for Ali vs. Holmes in 1980 and over 23,000 for Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns in 1981. But those numbers pale in comparison to todays top numbers since pay-per-view dominated the sport. Over 4.6 million bought pay-per-view for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight in Las Vegas on Feb. 5, 2015, earning $410 million, according to World Sports Weekly.

Most Expensive Grand Prix Race

Over 300,000 people are expected to attend three days of racing Nov. 16-18 for the Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix, which will be the most expensive F1 Grand Prix race on this season’s circuit based on ticket prices and hotel rates during the event, according to a study by

Tickets for the race range from $500 for a 3-day general admission, standing room only ticket to $2,000 for a 3-day SG3 or SG8 Grandstand or $2,500 for the PG1 Grandstand, according to the Las Vegas Grand Prix website. The average nightly room rate for the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend is $829 as of July 17, according to Vegas Unzipped.

The cost to watch the Las Vegas Grand Prix will likely rise as the event gets closer, as Vegas Strip businesses along the Grand Prix track are getting hit with a huge fee from Formula 1 to host viewing events. Clubs, restaurants and other businesses planning to host view parties can get ready for a $1,500 per person fee to watch the races. Those businesses who chose not to pay the fee risk having their views of the racetrack obstructed by race-related setups, like light stanchions or barricades, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Formula 1 charges a licensing fee for commercial rights at races, a standard practice for F1, which generates the majority of the organization’s revenue through licensing, the Review-Journal reported.

F1 has reached licensing deals with several hotel casinos to host sanctioned grandstand events, including MGM Resorts  International’s  (MGM) – Get Free Report Bellagio, Hard Rock International’s The Mirage, Hilton Grand Vacations and Caesars Entertainment’s  (CZR) – Get Free Report Paris Las Vegas.

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