F1 Blinks, Lowering Vegas Grand Prix Viewing Fees for Resistant Clubs and Eateries -- Report - Newstbt.com
Formula 1 is lowering the fees many say it’s charging in an attempt to strong-arm from clubs and restaurants with a view of the Las Vegas Grand Prix track. As previously reported, F1 had been demanding $1,500 per head according to maximum fire-code occupancy. Venues that didn’t comply could have their views blocked by barricades and other obstructions, including lights shined directly into their windows.
Now, however, viewing fees, which could have totaled $3 million for a 2,000-capacity venue, have been lowered to a flat amount somewhere around $50K per venue. This is according to a report published Monday, August 21, in the New York Post that quotes unnamed insiders.
While F1, owned by billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Media, has gotten away with similar viewing fees at its other street course locales, such as Monaco, it blinked when faced with powerful pushback from Sin City’s nightclub conglomerates.
“There is a certain line they are crossing [by] telling someone who has spent billions on their property that you are shutting the Strip down for construction and then asking them to pay for seats,” a source told the Post last month.
In addition to an unobstructed view, the $50K venue fee will buy restaurants and clubs a live feed of the three-day spectacle, which culminates with the Grand Prix race at 10 p.m. on Saturday, November 18.
Putting the Blocks On
Because of the extraordinary premium it’s placing on race views, F1 has been going over diagrams of the circuit with the intention of blocking any and all possible glimpses of the race by anyone who hasn’t purchased a pricey seat in one of the various grandstands spread out around the track.
Though sidewalks on Las Vegas Boulevard will be open to pedestrians during the race, barriers lining the track will intentionally obstruct all possible views.
And although pedestrian bridges crossing over the Strip will also be open to foot traffic during the race, their normally clear glass will be papered over.
From 8:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 16, and again from midnight-1 a.m. on Friday, November 17, drivers will perform practice runs on the racetrack, according to a schedule posted on August 21 to MGM Resorts’ Grand Prix page.
They’ll take one final practice round from 8:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. on Friday, then race for their spot on the grid during qualifying rounds, which will be held from midnight-1 a.m. on race day.
The race itself — 50 laps around a 3.8-mile track weaving in and out of the Las Vegas Strip at speeds of up to 223 mph — will start at 10 p.m. Saturday and finish by midnight.
Gates will open to the public at 6 p.m. on all three days.
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