Upcoming addition to the F1 calendar Las Vegas has, in typical fashion, set a new benchmark for eye-watering ticket prices when it joins the calendar next season.
Incredibly, the Las Vegas GP sold out within minutes thanks to hotels in the city purchasing millions of dollars worth of tickets, later to be re-sold as hotel packages.
MGM alone picked up $20 million worth of tickets, with the Washington Post reporting packages there will start from over $150,000 for the weekend.
Some packages will be worth more than $1.5 million, while hotel prices have skyrocketed by roughly 300%, or as much as 670% in some places.
As for fans looking to purchase general admission, those able to afford the stomach-churning $500USD may not even be guaranteed a view of the action - and those were the cheapest tickets available.
The cheapest seated ticket went for $3112, while a grandstand seat on the main straight went for $3890.
The only available tickets remaining to be bought by the public are the VIP hospitality pass - a cool $12,090.
The extraordinary cost follows that of the other new US grand prix earlier this year, hosted in Miami, where the cheapest general admission ticket on race day was valued at $777.
It's a monetary outlay that puts F1's traditional showcase of wealth, the Monaco GP, to shame.
With the popularity of F1 booming in the United States, which will host three races in 2023, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali made no bones about why prices were exorbitantly high in Vegas.
“Formula 1 has a certain positioning with regard to the kind of sport it is,” he said.
We are going to deliver the greatest spectacle in the world as a statement of F1. That needs to be recognised, and in terms of price positioning, we are going to be on the top side because this is Las Vegas and that is the nature of the customer coming to Las Vegas.
“There will be possibilities for people who want to pay less, to spend less. As always in life, it is the market pulling the price and then on our side is the responsibility to bring a great event.”
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— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) November 7, 2022
Ticket prices for F1's Las Vegas Grand Prix raise eyebrows
Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez were among drivers brought in for a demonstration run of their F1 cars on the Strip.
Perez told The AP he expected the Las Vegas race to be the "biggest sporting event in the world next year" and Haas team boss Guenther Steiner couldn't believe the event was even happening.
He said when he heard about Las Vegas he thought "really? on the Strip. How are we going to race cars here?' But Vegas can make it happen."
Hamilton doesn't know where Vegas' entry-level $US500 standing-room only ticket ranks among other F1 races, but did note costs have risen for the consumers.
"It's getting more and more expensive and less accessible to go to our events, and I wouldn't think that is a good thing," Hamilton told The AP.
F1, owned by US-based Liberty Media, will be a first-time promoter for the November 18 night race that will use famous Vegas landmarks and rush down the Strip.
Liberty Media earlier this year purchased a 39-acre strip for the construction of pit lanes, paddocks and hospitality, and CEO Greg Maffei on Saturday said the costs of putting on such a spectacle in a showplace city is evident in ticket prices.
"Given it is our race as a promoter, we want to make it a showcase of what can be done at all the races. We want to capitalise on the fan interest, which is enormous in the U.S., the demand is massive," Maffei told AP and predicted tickets would "sell out within hours."
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