Las Vegas bets on being glitziest F1 race ever

Known around the world for its gambling and nightlife, Sin City is about to become a whole lot racier.

Las Vegas will host its first Grand Prix on November 18.

The world’s top drivers, including Lewis Hamilton, will speed down the iconic Strip at 200mph at night, illuminated by the lights of many of the world’s most famous hotels and nightspots on Las Vegas Boulevard.

A star-packed weekend of entertainment will be built around the event, with Sir Rod Stewart and David Copperfield playing shows.

More big names, including Adele, Jennifer Lopez, Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga, are in talks to appear.

Officials and casino executives expect the weekend of Formula 1 Heineken Silver GP excitement, combined with a raft of special events, to generate £1.6billion, making it the “biggest night in Las Vegas history”.

Experts tip the race to rival Monaco’s annual Grand Prix, which takes place on Sunday.

A 10pm local time start for the 50-lap, 3.8-mile race will ensure maximum global TV coverage.

Some ticket deals have been revealed. Caesars Entertainment is rolling out an “Emperor Package” for £4million.

It guarantees prime terrace seats looking out across the length of the route outside Caesars Palace, a stay at Nobu Sky Villa and an “exclusive dining experience” from Michelin-starred chef Nobu Matsuhisa.

Meanwhile, MGM is incorporating its famous tourist attraction – the Bellagio Fountain water show – around customized grandstands.

Brodie Cooper, of US PR firm PRrppd, said: “Revenue and expenditure on the Vegas economy is unlike anything seen in its history. It’s already at hundreds of millions before race week and growing.

“It’s no understatement to say £1.6billion will be generated in the Vegas economy. The Saturday race day and night will be the biggest night in Las Vegas history.

“Monaco is regarded as F1’s jewel in the crown because of its unique route and style, but Vegas has the potential to become a fan favourite and even take over the top spot.

“The pure excitement of being in the party capital of the world, with all those lights and attractions, is a brand new experience. F1 and Vegas believe they could hit the jackpot.”

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Andrew Lanzino, from MGM, said: “This night- time race is probably on the glitziest two kilometres of coveted roadway in the world. It is hard to put into words what this is going to look like from the fans’ perspective, but also for drivers shooting down the strip at 200mph with all the neon lights of Vegas around. We are seeing epic demand for hotels and tickets. Vegas is made for this.”

Seats will cost around £13,000 in prime spots overlooking the paddock circuit. Over £8,000 will secure a place in the Skybox, located above the Main Grandstand, offering prime views of the start and finish line.

But for £380 punters can get a ground-level view at the newest Vegas venue, the £2billion MSG Sphere. F1 is soon releasing the last of its 105,000 ticket allocation.

City workers have been operating around the clock, relaying tarmac on the course to ensure the streets are perfectly smooth for the race.

And Formula 1 will soon reveal a “major world famous artist” who will perform during festivities.

In the nights leading up to the race, teams and charities are planning galas for guests, sponsors and supporters around town.

But the huge revenue being generated will also support good causes in the city, with the Las Vegas Grand Prix Foundation donating more than £600,000 to local organisations that provide food for needy citizens.

Contributions include one million meals to the Las Vegas community, through a food bank, and £83,000 to Project 150 for 2,200 holiday meals to homeless, displaced and disadvantaged high school students.

Funds will also go to Green Our Planet to support school garden programs at Clark County schools.

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