F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix: Opening ceremony, red carpet, casino involvement, and more
When Formula 1 announced the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, one thing was immediately clear.
It was going to be an event.
And corporate sponsors, casinos, and the teams themselves are getting in on the action. Here is just a sampling of the incredible events and packages being put together for the first-ever Las Vegas Grand Prix.
An opening ceremony?
If we know one thing about Las Vegas — and can make one safe assumption about the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix — it is that a spectacle is in the cards.
But if you had any doubts, those were likely erased last month when the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) announced in conjunction with the Las Vegas Grand Prix an “Opening Ceremony” for the race.
It is the first event of its kind.
Slated for Wednesday, November 15, the kickoff event will feature all 20 drivers, along with “iconic names in the music industry, including Andra Day, Bishop Briggs, J Balvin, Journey, Keith Urban, Steve Aoki, Swedish House Mafia, Thirty Seconds to Mars and will.i.am, plus appearances by Blue Man Group and Cirque du Soleil.”
As far as what to expect for the event, the LVCVA stated that “[t]he show will kick off with an immersive display celebrating the arrival of Formula 1 in Las Vegas, followed by each artist’s performance that pays tribute to Las Vegas’s rich history in entertainment, and culminating with team and driver introductions.”
“For the first-ever Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix it was important for us to create an opening ceremony that balances the spirit of Las Vegas with the global excitement that Formula 1 and these incredible drivers bring to each host city,” said Renee Wilm, the CEO of the Las Vegas Grand Prix. “We are proud to be able to work with the very best in the entertainment production space to offer one of the most diverse line-ups of beloved musical superstars, which will officially launch the race week festivities.”
“As the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World, it is only fitting that we kick off the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix with an incredible lineup of world-renowned music and athletic talent,” said Steve Hill, President and CEO of the LVCVA. “We are proud to partner with Formula 1 to give the fans in the audience and viewers around the world an unforgettable start to a truly momentous weekend in Las Vegas.”
The teams are rolling out the red carpet
Hospitality is a big part of an F1 weekend, as the ten teams welcome fans and corporate partners alike to the paddock.
For the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, teams are going the extra mile.
Chief among them is Mercedes. The team announced last month their “Vegas Club,” a three-level space that “will set the standard in premium trackside entertainment and reinvent corporate event hospitality through a location-based design, experience, and atmosphere.”
According to the team the Vegas Club will “combine an unparalleled view of the thrilling on-track action, with immersive off-track experiences featuring live music, A-list DJ sets, and cabaret, along with fine gourmet cuisine and speciality cocktails. Set over three levels, the space will take the very essence of Sin City and distil it into every aspect of Vegas Club.”
Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff discussed the Vegas Club ahead of the United States Grand Prix.
“And from a marketing side, we’re just blowing everything out of the park that we’ve previously done,” said Wolff. “We have a big building that we call Las Vegas club where we’re going to host over multiple levels, hopefully Las Vegas-worthy entertainment for our guests. And very much looking forward to it.”
The Vegas Club comes during the same season where Mercedes launched the Miami Club, ahead of the Miami Grand Prix. It is a setup the team anticipates at additional races during the 2024 season.
“Innovation and excellence is at the core of everything we do here at the team. That is true both on-track and off-track. We have refined our hospitality offering and are now taking the next step,” said Mercedes Marketing Operations Director Victoria Johnson. “Our aim is to create a truly immersive experience for our guests. We will enable them to experience the world’s fastest sport in a way like never before. After two successful years in Miami, we are delighted to be bringing the concept to Las Vegas and at further races in 2024.”
Mercedes is not the only team with a special hospitality plan for the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Williams announced that their fan zone experience is going to Sin City, for their final Fan Zone of the 2023 F1 season. Williams fans can join the team at the Brooklyn Bridge at the New York-New York Hotel, right on the Strip and nearby the circuit’s Turn 14-15-16 complex.
What can fans expect? A “a star-studded line-up of appearances” including driver meet-and-greet sessions with Alexander Albon and Logan Sargeant, live Q&A sessions with drivers and team members, and much more.
As for McLaren, CEO Zak Brown teased their hospitality offerings when I spoke with him last month. “We definitely do, we don’t want to spoil our surprises,” said Brown when I asked him about McLaren’s plans for Las Vegas. “It’s a very important market for us, very important race for us and our fans and our sponsors. We’re one of the leaders in activation of our sport, and so you can count on us for exciting exciting things in Vegas.”
So stay tuned on that front, Papaya fans.
The casinos join the fray
As you might expect, the casinos in Las Vegas are locked in a battle of one upmanship as the Las Vegas Grand Prix approaches.
Depending on just how much money you are willing to spend — or how many friends you can rope into the experience — casinos are offering outlandish packages for guests during the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
For example, we can start off with The Venetian Tower package, which will run approximately $9,000. This includes ”three-day passes to the Grandstands at T-Mobile Zone at Sphere at The Venetian. Take in the action Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights during practice, qualifying, and the race down the Las Vegas Strip. These passes also include food and non-alcoholic beverages at the race.”
Feeling like you can spend a little more money?
Well if you have $888,000 to spare, then you are in luck. Resorts World Las Vegas is offering their “Lucky 888” package for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, which according to the Casino will celebrate Lunar New Year, and pay homage to the property’s “Asian roots, as the number eight is known to symbolize luck and good fortune.”
In this package, you get one palace suite, one entourage suite, four superior rooms, six paddock club tickets, ten grandstand tickets, and eight drivers’ meet and greet tickets.
You also get private butler service.
Still have money to spend, head over to the Wynn Las Vegas, who are offering their “Million Dollar All-Access Experience.” If you have a million dollars to spend, you are going to get a lot in return. Wynn describes this package as an “exclusive-access, no-holds-barred race experience like none other.”
What does it include? Well, almost anything you can think of. Access to the private, members-only Wynn Grid Club, a walk through pit lane, a grid walk, a hot lap around the circuit, VIP tours of the grid and the paddock, a “[j]eroboam of Dom Perignon at arrival” — because who hasn’t wanted three liters of champagne before — exclusive access to the Opening Ceremony, dinner for six at Delilah, which includes “a menu specially selected by executive Chef Joshua Smith and champagne from Dom Perignon,” and a whole lot more.
Of course, it would not be Las Vegas if another casino did not feel the need to raise the stakes.
Can you some of your closest friends pull together $5 million? If so, here is what you will get in return. This package includes five nights in the Nobu Sky Villa, a three-bedroom villa with a terrace overlooking the Strip. This can fit up to 75 of your closest friends, and gives you a great view of the track.
You also get 12 paddock tickets — good luck sorting out who gets those and which of your 64 friends are “stuck” in the Sky Villa — access to a private Caesars club along with a personal driver along with a Rolls Royce to shuttle you around Las Vegas those five nights. You’ll also get a spa service package for six of your guests (again, this package seems destined to end some friendships), a VIP host for the five nights, and tickets to a show from Adele.
Finally, some corporate partners and other companies are leaning into the Las Vegas experience during race week. At the top of that list is Heineken, the main title sponsor of the Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix.
Heineken announced in October a partnership with Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing to deliver “on-the-ground activations, concerts at Heineken House and more than 100 Heineken Silver sampling events all week long heading into the world’s most anticipated F1 race weekend.”
The partnership with Verstappen will focus on “responsible consumption.” According to Heineken, they have partnered “with global F1 superstar and three-time world champion Max Verstappen, who’s serving as an official Heineken 0.0 ambassador. The partnership brings together the number one Dutch beer alongside the number one Dutch driver to engage the next generation of fans and encourage responsible consumption.”
Another company that is putting together something special for race week is Chase. Chase Sapphire is holding immersive cardmember events throughout race week. Events include an immersive experience at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Michael B. Jordan including driving experiences, a cocktail hour with an open bar, and a gourmet dining experience curated by Chef Tolu Eros, the “Billionaire Chef.”
Cardmembers can also enjoy a first-of-its-kind live Peloton class featuring two Peloton favorites, Selena Samuela and Becs Gentry. They will host a high-energy workout session right on the iconic Vegas strip. After this workout class, members can enjoy a meet-and-greet with the instructors, access to the NoMad facilities to freshen up and then a private brunch by the NoMad Pool.
As we said at the outset, race week in Las Vegas is going to be a true Vegas event.