LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – While Las Vegas is on track to host Formula One races for the next 10 years, officials said millions of dollars more than first projected are being used just for year one.
Liberty Media, the Denver-based company that owns the Las Vegas Grand Prix (LVGP), provided the update during its quarterly earnings call Friday, where Principal Financial Officer Brian Wendling told investors the increased costs were to “ensure quality” for spectators.
“We expect capax related to the Vegas race, including both the paddock building structure and track related capax, to be close to $400 million, of which approximately $155 million was incurred in the first half of the year,” Wendling said during the Friday call. “There’s no change to our revenue and profit expectations for the race in year one.”
Construction crews hit the pavement in early April, around the time LVGP CEO Renee Wilm indicated logistical problems ensued while digging up roads, undergrounding utilities, and building the 300,000 square foot start and finish line to the November race: the paddock building.
“As we’ve uncovered asphalt, (there were) cables under the ground that needed to be addressed. There’ve been wires overhead that have needed to be moved,” Wilm said during the call.
She told investors that hotels, casinos, and other businesses along the circuit expressed concerns about how this construction and race day events would impact their customers.
“A lot of (the increased costs were) driven by the request, and quite honestly requirements, of the local stakeholders, as we began this process of preparing the track for actual usage,” Wilm said during the call. “This has led to additional equipment that was needed, as well as additional, actual roadwork.”
Now, it’s a race to the finish line: Saturday, November 18.
Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei told investors that the tight deadline potentially raised the costs as well, and prevented them from capitalizing on other fan celebrations, sporting events, and music festivals near the weekend race.
“We moved with lightning speed, the F1 team, Renee’s team, to put this in place. And that’s probably led to increased costs. And it’s also meant there were opportunities we’ve had to not capitalize on,” Maffei said during the call.
With an estimated $400 million project estimate, Formula One President & CEO Stefano Domenicali told investors he still projects around $1.2 billion in revenue from the November race in its first year.
The final repaving round on Las Vegas Boulevard persists until Friday, August 18.
This, along with the rest of the track, is expected to be completed by early October.
F1 officials have told 8 News Now that this will also roughly be the time that grandstands, bridges, and other support for the race will be installed. They did not comment on the status of their ask of Clark County to pay half of the $80 million repaving work.