- Even after ticket prices were halved, the cheapest seat still cost $1,000
- Las Vegas entered this F1 season with the most expensive tickets on the calendar
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Las Vegas knows how to throw a party, but this time they’re faced with a problem the city isn’t exactly used to: not that many people are interested in coming.
Organizers of the opening race on The Strip will have to scramble to fill hotel rooms and grandstands as empty seats become a much bigger problem than expected – with the race just days away.
Motorsports website Oversteer48.com found approximately 10,000 unsold grandstand seats near the track’s recently built Sphere and East Harmon Zone when examining Ticketmaster data.
That lines up with a report from Road & Track, which found that hotel room prices have fallen by about a quarter over the past month to about $280 per night.
But even with these price adjustments, there is still a glaring problem: everything is still so incredibly expensive.
The organizers of the first Las Vegas Grand Prix are experiencing declining demand
One website reports that there are around 10,000 empty seats in front of the GP grandstands
The cheapest grandstand seats on the secondary market are around $1,000, about half of what they were in June according to F1destinations.com.
Even with this huge cost savings, Las Vegas is still the most expensive grandstand seat at the track at around $200.
Start by comparing this price to the cheapest grandstand seat in F1, which can be found at Suzuka and costs around $118. Then compare them to some of the most legendary circuits in F1, such as Silverstone ($445), Monza ($283) and Spa ($315).
Finally, look at numbers like COTA ($500) or the former title holder for the most expensive ticket – Monaco ($805) and you can see the problems.
Even Miami, which was widely panned because their tickets were too expensive before the first race, is cheaper than Vegas – with their cheapest grandstand seat costing $850.
Not to mention that in June a grandstand seat across from the pits started at $2,500. A reminder that the pit directly on this Las Vegas track isn’t even on The Strip.
Three-day tickets also paint a bleak picture for an F1 fan’s wallet. In June, the cheapest average three-day ticket to Hungary cost $184. The three-day price from Miami was an outrageous $1,113.
Vegas? It cost $1,667 – almost $1,000 more than a three-day ticket to the Monaco Grand Prix.
Demand could drop after Max Verstappen and Red Bull won a title a while ago
Additionally, bad weather can make the race a bad experience for the fans in attendance
Prizes may be just one of many reasons why enthusiasm for these races is so low.
Another could be that this F1 season is essentially already over: Red Bull has handily won the constructors’ title and Max Verstappen his third consecutive drivers’ championship.
There were also fears of a labor shortage this week, but tentative deals were struck by the Big Three casino operators (Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts) and the union representing 35,000 workers at 18 Vegas casinos.
Finally, there is one problem that many would not expect in Las Vegas: the cold and rain. Early forecasts suggest an increased chance of precipitation and temperatures for the race expected to drop to 41 degrees Fahrenheit – the lowest at an F1 Grand Prix since Montreal in 1978.