LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas police joined the Grand Prix Vice President of Event Operations and the Clark County Commission chairman Thursday to discuss preparations for the upcoming race, including safety concerns and what guests can expect during the event week.
“We appreciate the patience our community has shown as we finally approach the race week,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Undersheriff Andrew Walsh said. “The preparation for this epic event has been unlike anything we have ever gone through before.”
“It’s been a very heavy lift for our community to make to take the steps necessary to have a successful event,” Clark County Commission Chairman Jim Gibson said. “Everyone who works here and lives here, particularly those who work in the resort corridor, has been impacted. They’ve had to sacrifice because of the significant roadwork and construction that has been underway. We recognize that and we thank residents and visitors all for their patience.”
Walsh said Metro was working with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of spectators, drivers, and pedestrians on the Strip during the race while also ensuring the rest of the community is safe.
“We take what we do in our neighborhoods on a daily basis very serious,” Walsh said. “The strategic prevention and reduction of crime is one of our first goals, and, you know, we can’t blink for one second when it comes to what goes on outside of the Strip to protect the rest of the community. I live here, you live here, so you have my assurance that we’re not missing anything when it comes to that.”
In October, the Department of Homeland Security raised the security rating for the Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix to Level Two, which means additional security support during the race weekend.
“Everybody knows we’re no stranger to handling these large-scale events. Events like this are a unique challenge for us. This one is particularly unique because of the footprint,” Walsh said. “We are planning for this like it’s New Year’s Eve. The number of visitors that will be here for this race is comparable to that.”
Here is everything you need to know about what to expect during the first-ever Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix.
What is the race schedule?
According to Anthes, the Las Vegas Grand Prix will be a walking race, which means guests are encouraged to “enjoy the amenities of the Resort Corridor and the bright lights of the Boulevard” before going to their ticketed zone.
The event will kick off with the opening ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 15. Guests will be able to see it from the Paddock Club, PG1 Main Grandstand, and the Skybox. Gates will open at 5 p.m. and the event will start at 7:30 p.m.
The lineup for the opening ceremony includes performances by nine musical artists, which includes big names like Journey, Steve Aoki, Thirty Seconds to Mars, and Keith Urban.
The times for activities on the track are:
THURSDAY – Gates to all zones open at 6 p.m.
First practice session: 8:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Formula 1 Pirelli Hot Laps: 9:45 p.m.-10:25 p.m.
Formula 1 Pirelli Hot Laps: 10:30 p.m.-11:10 p.m.
Second practice session: 12:00 a.m.-1 a.m.
FRIDAY – Gates to all zones open at 6 p.m.
Third practice session: 8:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Formula 1 Pirelli Hot Laps: 9:45 p.m.-10:25 p.m.
Qualifying: 12:00 a.m.-1:00 a.m.
SATURDAY – Paddock club opens at 5 p.m., all other gates open at 6 p.m.
Driver Parade will start at 7:50 p.m. followed by other pre-race activities before the Las Vegas Grand Prix begins at 10:00 p.m.
What will security be like?
We have coordinated plans and resources to make sure that we will have a safe and memorable experience for the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix,” Las Vegas Grand Prix Vice President of Event Operations Vanessa Anthes said.
Metro will have a large presence inside and outside the track during the event, including detectives and officers from other assignments working patrol. In addition to Metro officers, there will be hundreds of “private sector” security working in the track each night.
If anyone sees suspicious activity, Walsh said all race-goers are encouraged to tell an officer, call 911, or use the “See Something, Say Something” hotline at 702-828-7777.
According to Walsh, everyone who enters the race areas will go through weapons detection and security screening. During the event, ordinances that are usually in place for New Year’s Eve, such as the prohibited items list, will be enforced during the four nights of the race.
Additionally, the FAA will be implementing a temporary flight restriction for a no-drone zone. Repercussions to flying a drone in the no-fly zone could include drone confiscation, fines that exceed $30,000, and potential criminal prosecution.
The command center for first responders and other agencies for the race will be held at Switch.
“Our state-of-the-art facility holds technology infrastructure that allows public safety officials to monitor events, focus on safety, and communicate with the media,” Switch Senior Vice President of Sustainability Alise Porto said.
What other safety measures are in place?
The LVMPD worked with the Grand Prix team to install safety scrims on public and private pedestrian bridges over the track and in and around the race. Walsh said this was to stop people from “clogging up” the bridge or stopping the flow of pedestrian traffic.
The scrims are also in place for the safety of the drivers, preventing people from being on the bridge and throwing things onto the race track.
On race nights, EMS teams will be deployed along the strip.
Firefighter teams will be deployed within the race circuit for any incidents that may occur on or off the track. Staff from the public works department will be ready to respond to any issues that may happen with traffic signal infrastructure or any repair issues.
What will the road closures during race week be?
Portions of Las Vegas Boulevard, Koval Lane, and Harmon and Sands avenues from Thursday, Nov. 16 to Saturday, Nov. 18 will be closed. Closures will begin each day at 5 p.m., with a hard closure starting at 7 p.m.
The following roads will be closed:
- Las Vegas Blvd. from Spring Mountain to Harmon in both directions.
- Koval Lane from Sands Ave. to Harmon Ave.
- Harmon Ave. from Las Vegas Blvd. to Koval Lane
- Sands Ave from Las Vegas Blvd. to Manhattan Street (first street east of Koval)
- Flamingo Road from I-15 ramp to Koval Lane
- Spring Mountain from I-15 ramp to Sands and Koval Lane
The track will reopen at around 2 a.m. each day, with the goal being to be fully open to traffic at around 6 a.m., depending on how fast the crews can clear the circuit.
From Nov. 12 to Nov. 25, Koval Lane between Harmon and Rochelle avenues is closed in both directions.
Drivers should anticipate traffic delays and consider alternate routes while traveling during race week.
Las Vegas police suggest using Maryland Parkway to avoid race-related closures.
To receive traffic notifications and updates, join the text service Clark County established with the Las Vegas Grand Prix by texting F1LV to 31996.
Is there an app for that?
Yes, there is a dedicated F1 Las Vegas mobile phone app. The app will include guest tickets, interactive maps, schedules, race standings, a list of prohibited items, and more. Updated in real-time with pedestrian path routing, the app is also a way for race-goers to get customized way-finding routes.
You do not need to be a ticket holder to download the device. The app is available on Android and Apple and can be downloaded from this link.
What is the parking situation?
According to Anthes, casinos will have dedicated exterior lots for their guests who are driving to park. However, Anthes said they are encouraging everyone to utilize the monorail or rideshare options.
The monorail adjusted their hours and will continuously operate from Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 7 a.m. to Monday, Nov. 20 at 3 a.m. Trains will arrive at each station every five to twelve minutes.
Those using the monorail should use the route map so they know their preferred stop before they get to the Monorail. Discounted tickets specifically for the Grand Prix can be found here.
Rideshare depots will be found at the Virgin Hotel and the Howard Hughes Center.
What items are not allowed?
During the event, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Undersheriff Andrew Walsh said metro officers will enforce ordinances that are usually reserved for NYE during the four nights of the race, including prohibited items.
The race will have a clear bag policy. Small handbags and fanny packs smaller than 4.5 by 6.5 inches do not need to be clear. No bags larger than 12 by 6 by 12 inches will be permitted. All bags will be searched when you enter. Diaper bags are permitted when accompanied by an infant.
There will be no storage lockers outside of the gates.
Items not allowed in the race zones include:
- Glass bottles
- Collapsable or non-collapsable chairs or stools
- Professional film, photo, or sound equipment
- Animals that are not service animals
- Promotional materials