The week before the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, reseller ticket prices were dropping. StubHub’s $2,100 average price tag for the three-day event, however, still made it the most desirable F1 race of the year.
"The Vegas Grand Prix, marking the city’s return to hosting F1 races after decades, is the top-selling F1 race worldwide on StubHub and one of the most in-demand sporting events of the year," StubHub’s spokesman Adam Budelli said this week, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "As an event that is often hailed as one of the most premium experiences in live sports, it is a unique opportunity for someone to get their hands on a ticket to a bucket list event at a price that’s staying steady."
Steady, however, may be a slight overstatement. Ticket prices have come down of their optimistic highs. Two weeks ago, StubHub’s average multi-day ticket price was $2,300. Meanwhile, ticket prices – especially on the low-end – have dropped more than 80% compared to what they initially sold for last year.
While betting action is expected to be hot, TickPick reported that ticket prices for Thursday’s practice and Friday’s qualifying races have dropped roughly 80% since they first went on the market last year. Ticket prices for Saturday’s pricier main event held up betting, dropping roughly 50% since last November.
Some of the drop is since Max Verstappen has already clinched the F1 Championship title this year. Also, scalpers may have misjudged demand – especially on lower-end ticket prices. After all, F1 is a high-end sport. Race venues include Monaco, Singapore, Spain, Brazil, and Australia. Most F1 fans are international jetsetters. They're looking for an upscale experience, not a two-for-one Vegas buffet. And budget conscious locals may not be ready to spring for a grand for a practice race.
F1’s High End–Low End Divide
Tickets aren’t the only place where “luxury” has held up better going into the Vegas Grand Prix. Earlier this week, passengers on commercial flights commented that they were often not full. Meanwhile, all three of the nearby airports – Harry Reid International, North Las Vegas, and Henderson Executive – have run out of spots for folks to park their private planes, according to 8 News Now. That’s after Henderson added an additional 18 acres of aircraft parking in March.
And those parking spots don’t come cheap. The fee for planes coming to North Las Vegas and Henderson will be $3,500, while fees at Harry Reid International run to $7,500, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
Lodging is another place where luxury mattered. When the Las Vegas Grand Prix was first announced, every hotel in Vegas jacked up their prices in anticipation. In the last few weeks before the race, most of those prices had come down markedly – especially for mid and low-tier properties. Room prices for the three-night stay at Circus Circus and the Rio dropped more than 80% since the race was announced last year.
At this point, the lower end Strip properties are priced like an average November weekend. Meanwhile, three-day average prices at the Wynn, the Bellagio, and Aria have mostly maintained their premiums, at $2,533, $1,666, and $1,467 respectively – or more than three times their average November prices.