It’s not like there wasn’t already enough to see and do in Las Vegas, but somewhere between Lady Gaga, Adele and Kiss, it’ll also hand Formula 1 a residency after the sport’s chiefs agreed a three-year deal to host a street race around the Nevada resort city from 2023.
Even before F1 opens its account at the new-for-’22 Miami International Autodrome, the sport was already busy finalising another fresh US venue in the form of Las Vegas, with Liberty announcing the deal late last month.
The contract includes the construction of a new 3.8-mile street circuit, which will incorporate a section of the famous Las Vegas Strip. And the city’s numerous neon lights will be put to good use, with the event planned to be a night race due to begin at 10pm local time, meaning European audiences will catch it live during the early morning (estimated 6am GMT).
Many of Las Vegas’s most famous establishments – including the MGM Grand and Caesars Palace – have backed the deal and agreed to push the event’s promotion. F1 has been in Vegas before, with races in 1981 and 1982 taking place on a makeshift and unlamented circuit in the car park of Caesars Palace. Former F1 head Bernie Ecclestone repeatedly attempted to get plans for a race on the Strip off the ground, but never managed to gain the backing of the casinos close to the road.
Liberty, however, appears to have managed to change perceptions of the sport, with the runaway success of the Austin race and a new generation of fans.
F1 president Stefano Domenicali said: “This is an incredible moment for F1 that demonstrates the huge appeal and growth of our sport with a third race in the US.”
Liberty president Greg Maffei added: “Las Vegas is a destination known around the world for its excitement, hospitality, thrills, and of course, the Strip. There is no better place for F1 to race than in the global entertainment capital of the world and we can’t wait to be here next year.”