Las Vegas has quickly gone from a sports desert to one of the world’s premier sports destinations. When the Supreme Court decided to allow each state to decide whether to allow sports betting, the city became an attractive location for pretty much any sporting event.
That was followed by a flood of legislation at the state level allowing sports betting. Thirty states and the District of Columbia have legalized it. This change in turn has brought with it a broader acceptance of the concept of sports betting.
Every major sports league has embraced the idea that people can bet legally on its games. That has included major partnerships with gambling companies, data partners, and just about any other player who can pay money for something related to gambling.
All these changes made Las Vegas an incredibly attractive destination for major sporting events and teams. The first domino fell when the National Hockey League expansion team Las Vegas Golden Knights in 2017 became the first pro team to call Sin City home. That was followed by the former Oakland Raiders bringing National Football League games to Las Vegas in 2020.
Now, Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics appear poised to make a move to Las Vegas and two National Basketball Association-ready arenas are being built on the Las Vegas Strip. In addition, the 2024 Super Bowl will take place at Allegiant Stadium, the home of the Raiders.
And to cap off all of those additions to Las Vegas, a huge global sporting event has been confirmed for the city, in November 2023.
Formula 1 Comes to Las Vegas
While Formula 1 may not be considered one of the big sports in the U.S., it’s huge internationally. The series will bring a race to Las Vegas, its third annual race in the U.S., beginning in 2023.
“The Las Vegas Grand Prix will take place on a Saturday next November and be one of three races in the United States, joining Miami and Austin”‘ F1 said in a news release.
“Las Vegas hosted races in 1981 and 1982 but this will be the first time F1 cars will race on the iconic Las Vegas Strip, with the circuit sweeping past famous hotels and casinos.”
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That’s huge news for Caesars Entertainment (CZR) – Get Caesars Entertainment Inc Report, MGM Resorts International (MGM) – Get MGM Resorts International Report, Wynn (WYNN) – Get Wynn Resorts, Limited Report, and the other Las Vegas Strip casino operators. An F1 will pack casinos all along The Strip, creating an international event.
F1 will work with Liberty Media (FWONA) – Get Liberty Media Corp. Series A Liberty Formula One Report to promote the race in partnership with Live Nation Entertainment (LYV) – Get Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. Report and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), as well as Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, and Wynn Las Vegas as well as Presenting Partners MSG Sphere, Resorts World Las Vegas, and the Venetian Resort.
“Iconic Las Vegas and Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport, is the perfect marriage of speed and glamour,” said Liberty Media Chief Executive Greg Maffei. “Our confidence in this unique opportunity is evident in our decision to assume the promoter role for the Las Vegas Grand Prix in partnership with Live Nation.”
Las Vegas Goes Global
NFL games bring tens of thousands of out-of-town fans into Las Vegas, filling up hotels, casinos, and restaurants. An F1 race will become a global event — and while it won’t outdraw a Super Bowl, it’s an annual event that should create a nearly, or fully, sold-out city.
“We eagerly anticipate the moment when the history, energy, and momentum of Formula 1 will culminate in an unforgettable Saturday night on the Las Vegas Strip,” LVCVA President Greg Hill said.
“Spectators will experience the unrivaled thrill of watching these world-class drivers race through what is sure to become one of the most iconic racetracks in the world.”
The track will be 3.8 miles, featuring three main straights and 14 corners. The top speeds are estimated to reach over 212 miles an hour, and the cars will have 50 laps to finish.
This event will be a major draw for Caesars, MGM, Wynn, and others, but more important, it continues to build the city as a destination for major sports. Expect a Final Four and pretty much any other major event that can come to Sin City to at least consider Las Vegas moving forward.