By Rory Carroll
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – The Las Vegas Grand Prix is still more than seven months away, but the race to build the huge, state-of-the-art Formula One paddock on the corner of Harmon Ave has already begun. and Koval Avenue.
During a recent visit to the busy site, project manager Terry Miller said the aim was to complete work by September, leaving little room for error as November's first offering on the Strip of Las Vegas is fast approaching.
"It's a symphony," said Miller, wearing a helmet, as the bulldozers raced past.
"All the parts that come in, the logistics, the way people move around the venue, the interfaces and controls needed for an F1 race – it all comes back here," he said.
"It's the heartbeat of the show."
Formula 1 will stage an emotional return to Las Vegas on Saturday night after decades of important, high-profile racing, F1's third race in the United States after Miami and Austin.
Organizers expect more than 105,000 fans every day, starting with free practice on November 16 and 17 and competition on November 18. They estimate it will bring in $1.2 billion to the local economy.
"We believe this will be the biggest sporting and entertainment event of the year," Las Vegas Grand Prix CEO Rene Willem told Reuters.
"There has been an absolute transformation in this city and we are thrilled to be a part of it."
In the year This coincides with the continued transformation of Las Vegas from Sin City to Sports City, with the introduction of the Golden Knights of the National Hockey League in 2017 and the Las Vegas Aces of the WNBA in 2018 and the National Raiders in 2020.
But unlike the typical North American domestic sport, Formula 1 takes on an international profile.
"There is no better way for Las Vegas to capture the attention of our international customers than Formula 1," said Steve Hill, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Hill, who helped bring the Raiders to Las Vegas and build the Allegiant Stadium, said the addition of F1 would give the city's sporting development a global dimension.
"The anticipation for this tournament has given the city a sense of excitement that will last for years," he said.
“It's a real event.
Formula 1, made popular in the United States by the Netflix series Drive Survive, plans to host the annual race for at least the next decade.
just the beginning
And the sporting bonanza in Las Vegas doesn't stop at the F1 finish line.
The city will host its first Super Bowl in three months, and NFL championship organizers will be watching Las Vegas' response to F1's strong turnout.
Major League Baseball's Oakland Athletics is also in talks to move to Las Vegas, and Hill said the team could play in a new stadium near the Strip by 2027.
"It has to happen. The A's want to be here and we want to be here," Hill said.
"We are moving very quickly in that direction… I'm optimistic."
LeBron James has expressed interest in bringing an NBA team to Las Vegas.
And Major League Soccer has expressed interest in adding a Las Vegas team to play in a new soccer-specific stadium, with an announcement expected later this year.
One of the reasons the city is so attractive to team owners is that officials in Clark County, Nevada, have extensive experience approving multi-billion dollar projects such as new stadiums. and sports arenas, Hill said.
"They know how to do it and they're determined to find a way to say yes," she said.
Hill predicted that all five major North American sports leagues will have teams in Vegas in the future.
When you're ready, we're ready.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Las Vegas; Editing by Christian Radnage)