Vegas is investing in a trifecta of Formula 1, the Super Bowl, and the opening of the highly-anticipated MSG Sphere to attract an even bigger share of business events.
Formula One fever has permeated Las Vegas with a projected economic impact of approximately $1.3 billion, set to be southern Nevada’s first billion-dollar event.
The inaugural F1 race takes place November 16-18, 2023, and is said to bring more money into the city than the Super Bowl at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024. These predictions were shared during the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce’s Preview Las Vegas event, held in the new West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).
Two weeks after hosting more than 115,000 delegates during CES 2023, Las Vegas gathered the business community to share details about its inaugural Formula One Grand Prix and Super Bowl. Speaking at the event, Jeremy Aguero, principal of Applied Analysis, projected the Super Bowl to add $600 million to the city’s coffers. However, unlike this championship game, plans are for Formula One to stay in the city for years. This is good news for groups meeting in Las Vegas, as the paddock site will be a permanent structure. During race days, it will host the start and finish lines, driver pits, VIP areas, and a rooftop terrace. In addition, the LEED-certified convention center-type space will operate all year round and offer private racing experiences for groups.
“The entire world will be watching us next year,” said Steve Hill, CEO and president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau (LVCVA). “There is no better spotlight for us to have. It changes the perception from what happens here stays here and broadens the viewpoint of Las Vegas.”
The $2.2 billion MSG Sphere is an entirely new immersive entertainment medium that will transport guests to new worlds. “It is the birthplace of a new medium that will change entertainment forever,” said Lucas Watson, president of MSG Sphere. It feature musical residencies and host corporate events, conferences, and product launches, in a way that was never before possible.
At 336 feet tall and 516 feet wide, it will be the world’s largest spherical structure. The 20,000 spectators will be surrounded by a 160,000-square-foot LED screen that is the highest resolution in the world. The sound system features speakers placed in front, above, and behind; and is complemented with vibrating seats.
For groups, there will be 23 VIP suites and an atrium space for hire. In addition, the outside of the Sphere features a 580,000-square-foot LED display that is also fully programmable.
“It will deliver wind that blows your hair back, scent and temperature that will be immersive,” added Watson. “It’s a disruptive technology that one must feel to believe. It will bring audiences on journeys they could never go on before.”
F1 Will Put Las Vegas on a Global Stage
The pinnacle of motorsports, F1, will give Las Vegas the world stage, said Stefano Domenicali, president and CEO of F1. “This is a golden moment for F1,” he said.
The four-story paddock building will give F1 a permanent presence in Las Vegas. “I believe we have only scratched the surface of F1 in the United States,” said Domenicali.
The 3.8-mile street circuit will include the longest straight in F1 down Las Vegas Boulevard. Drivers are predicted to hit speeds of more than 212 miles per hour.
“It will expose Las Vegas to F1’s global and affluent audience,” said Renee Wilm, Las Vegas Grand Prix CEO. Unlike the Olympics, World Cup, or other major one-time sporting events, F1 Las Vegas will be in the city long-term.
“Everything built in this town for sports has benefits for meeting and convention planners,” said Lisa Messina, chief sales officer for the LVCVA. “Take Allegiant Stadium. They can activate that building in any shape and size for 50 to 65,000.”
It is the hope that these headline-grabbing competitions will help bring group business back to where it was in 2019. Similar to what is trending in the industry, shows are back, but the number of attendees are not. With more than 600 shows scheduled in the city this year, Hill is optimistic that the city can achieve 2019’s 6.6 million-attendee number.
Caesars Entertainment is offering a wide range of F1 hospitality packages. The most extravagant is the $5 million VIP Emperor Package which includes five nights in Nobu Sky Village, which crowns the Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace, offering some of the best views of the racetrack on the Las Vegas Strip. The three-bedroom villa’s terrace can host up to 75 guests to watch the race. The package also includes a private dinner for 12, curated and hosted by Michelin-starred restaurateur Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, a personal driver, a choice of spa service for six guests at Qua Baths & Spa, a private VIP host, and tickets to Adele’s sold-out residency for two.
To help with congestion during these high-profile events, Elon Musk’s innovative underground transportation system, the Vegas Loop, is being extended. Forty feet beneath the ground, the system will be expanded to 29 miles with more than 55 stops.
Photo credit: Paul C Barranco / Unsplash