The Las Vegas Grand Prix, the newest addition to the prestigious Formula 1 (F1) motor racing series, has been cleared to stay on the calendar for at least 10 years after the Clark County Commission granted permission for the race to run on the city’s famed Strip until 2032.
Last March, F1 announced it would return to Las Vegas after over 40 years in November 2023, hosting a street race around the city's center with part of the track incorporating the iconic Strip in an initial three-year contract covering 2023 to 2025.
However, earlier this week (February 7), the Clark County Commission passed a resolution to recognize the grand prix as an annual event for the next 10 years, bringing an estimated economic impact of over $1 billion to the region.
The commission was requested to recognize the circuit on both public and private land in Las Vegas, including roads owned by Clark Country – Harmon Avenue, Las Vegas Boulevard, Koval Lane, and Sands Avenue – that will require closure for the event.
The resolution also indicated the race plans to keep its late-season slot and that in total, action will take place “a few hours a day for five days, beginning on each Wednesday through Sunday in the week prior to the Thanksgiving holiday in November in the years 2023 through 2032.”
Ahead of the vote, Clark County commissioner James Gibson said: “We have a three-year contract with F1, but we anticipate a lifetime in partnership.
“This will open the pathway to be able to do it for at least 10 years and then beyond that, I’m sure that those who succeed us will see the value in what we’ve done and continue doing it forever.”
The motion was carried unanimously by the board, giving the green light for the required closures each year in November until 2032.
Construction is currently underway for the pit and paddock area for the race after F1 purchased a 39-acre site for $240 million last year.
Terry Miller, project manager for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, said: “The clock is ticking, and the months are flipping by on the calendar.
“We’re on schedule and expect an exciting event in November. We’re very proud of what we’re doing. This obviously provides labor for construction, but also for the operation of the event itself.
“The impact the Las Vegas Grand Prix brings to our community is very significant.”
This year’s inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix is scheduled for November 18 and will serve as the penultimate race before the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix a week later.
It will be the first time the city has held an F1 race since hosting two in 1981 and 1982, named the Caesars Palace Grand Prix, with those events held in a car park adjacent to the casino.
For this year's race, there will be 50 race laps with three main straights and 14 corners, including a high-speed cornering sequence and a single chicane section.
F1 will organize the race in partnership with the city’s authorities and businesses rather than with a race promoter.
The 2023 season is set to include three races in the US, with the two other events to take place in Miami, Florida, and Austin, Texas.
The series’ owners, US-based Liberty Media, have been open about growing the sport in the country since taking over commercial rights at the start of the 2017 season and will look to now build on commercial deals in the run-up to the race.
ESPN holds the rights in the US to F1 until the end of the 2025 season after striking an extension in October. Under that deal, ESPN will provide live coverage of all F1 grands prix across its ESPN and ESPN2 channels, with at least 16 races per season aired on free-to-air sister channel ABC.
F1’s popularity in the US has been assisted, in part, by the huge interest in the Netflix documentary series Drive to Survive, which has helped drive fresh interest in the sport since the first season aired in 2019.
It is set to return for a fifth and sixth season this year and in 2024 covering the 2022 and 2023 seasons, respectively.
Season four of the docuseries, which was aired in March last year, and covered the events of the 2021 campaign, attracted “the biggest audience to date” out of all the editions so far, F1 said.
Pre-season testing for the 2023 campaign will run in Bahrain from February 23 to 25, with the first grand prix of the season in that same country on March 5.