Formula 1’s first year shook things up on the Las Vegas Strip
In a weekend filled with more drama than your mom’s favorite soap opera, Las Vegas’ inaugural Formula 1 race ended with practice race mishaps, record-level betting numbers and a more than $1 billion economic impact to the city.
Las Vegas Grand Prix reported a 315,000-person attendance number over the course of the event. Steve Hill, president and CEO of Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said F1’s impact will make November 2023 Las Vegas’ “best November in history.”
“The benefits of this race are both profound and broad and will drive record economic and fiscal impact of more than $100 million in tax revenue to the Las Vegas community,” he said.
Before the race even began, Caesars Sportsbook reported a record amount of money wagered ever for any auto race. BetMGM, Station Casinos and Westgate Superbook reported record betting for an F1 race.
“We knew going into it, just because of where the race is located and its proximity to betting windows, that it was going to be a record handle for Caesars for a Formula One race,” Adam Pullen, Caesars assistant director of trading, told Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Although we’ve already eclipsed the record handle, auto racing is a niche sport. It’s just not heavily bet.”
To accommodate the high number of race enthusiasts, Las Vegas’ all-electric Monorail adjusted its hours to operate continuously from Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 7 a.m. to Nov. 20 at 3 a.m. and extended its customer service hours to run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Monorail also offered discounted tickets specifically for the race and Las Vegas locals.
Hotels and venues all along and across The Strip offered experiences and opportunities to watch the race, like Circa Resort & Casino, which decked out its Stadium Swim venue with racing décor and fan photo opps, and showed the race on its 143-foot screen. Caesars Entertainment offered dining events and star appearances at many of its restaurants. Gordon Ramsey made an appearance at Ramsay’s Kitchen and Hell’s Kitchen on Thursday and Friday, respectively, and Nobu Matsuhisa led sushi-making demos at his two Nobu restaurants at Caesars Palace and Paris Las Vegas.
Las Vegas is one of three U.S. stops in Formula 1’s 2023 calendar, including Austin and Miami, out of Formula 1’s 23 stops this year. The current contract between Formula 1 and Las Vegas is for three races over three years, although a possible extension has been rumored.