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The Nevada Independent

Nevada residents offered a head start on lower-priced tickets for F1

Las Vegas Grand Prix officials: More than 7,000 general admission passes are on sale Friday through Sunday for locals.
Howard Stutz
Howard Stutz
EconomyFormula 1GamingSports

Officials from the Las Vegas Grand Prix want locals and visitors who complained about the four- and five-figure tickets made available for last year's inaugural Formula One event to know that your messages were received.

Grand Prix officials said more than 7,000 general admission tickets — nearly three times the number offered a year ago to the public  — were put on sale Friday at noon — continuing through 11:59 p.m. Sunday — for Nevada residents to get a first crack at various three-day packages and single-day tickets before sales open to the general public Monday morning.

For the high-end crowd, there are still more than a dozen luxury suites and clubs around the $3.8 million circuit ranging from $3,500 to $35,000 per person for the Nov. 21-23 weekend. However, general admission tickets begin at $150 for a single-day ticket. Last year, single-day tickets for race qualifying cost $500 while actual race-day tickets cost $1,300.

Las Vegas Grand Prix Chief Operating Officer Betsy Fretwell said Friday that race organizers wanted options for general admission fans to experience various aspects of the race by creating new general admission zones around the course and giving fans options of purchasing either single-day or three-day tickets.

For example, the all-new standing-room-only Flamingo Zone is on a straightaway along Koval Lane costs $150 for a single-day pass and $600 for a three-day ticket. Also, Caesars Palace added a standing-room-only zone on the Strip in front of the resort that costs $850 for three days. Both areas will offer food and beverages for purchase.

“It's very accessible for people who want to bring their family so they can take advantage of that lower price point, come in and experience race firsthand,” Fretwell added.

Three-day tickets for the T-Mobile Zone beneath Sphere Las Vegas, a standing-room-only area with viewing a platform and complimentary food, water and soft drinks, cost $1,050 over three days. Three-day grandstand tickets cost $1,500 per person along West Harmon Avenue, $1,800 near the Sphere, and $2,750 in the main grandstand near the start-finish line. Each has different benefits and add-ons.

Fretwell said the Grand Prix created a “Three of a Kind” package that includes a general admission ticket in the Flamingo Zone, a dedicated seat in the Sphere Zone and entrance into a trackside hospitality suite that costs either $2,100 a person, $2,700 or $3,600 with the highest price coinciding with the hospitality seat on race day.

“This allows someone to experience different levels of hospitality,” Fretwell said. “That way you can figure out what you enjoy the most and plan for attending future races. We want the locals to have that experience.”

Casino company executives complained that F1 only benefitted a high-end visitor while the middle-market Las Vegas customer stayed away. 

Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg suggested in February that ticket prices be reduced to more “approachable” rates to attract a more diverse audience. Golden Entertainment President Charles Protell said the company’s STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod didn’t see much benefit from the race because it only appealed to high-end properties along a small area of the Strip.

Fretwell said the first year of the race was a learning experience for everyone, including the casino industry, which now has a better understanding of how the race can appeal to different customer segments.


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