Formula 1 won’t come to Las Vegas for another year-and-a-half, but parent company Liberty Media is already making a huge investment in the city.
Liberty has agreed to buy 39 acres of land east of the Las Vegas Strip for $240 million.
- The area will house the pit and paddock complex for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, which will run its inaugural race in November 2023.
- The purchase will be funded from cash on hand in F1’s accounts.
“The revenues are growing, the race markets are growing, so they’re putting their money where their mouth is,” said McLaren CEO Zack Brown of Liberty on Saturday.
With F1’s $5 million-per-year U.S. broadcast rights deal with ESPN ending in 2022, Liberty could seek $75 million or more per year.
“We’re going to see a massive increase,” said Liberty CEO Greg Maffei last Friday.
Maffei noted that there are ongoing shifts in where sports properties can find the largest audiences.
“If you look at cable households, and how many there are compared to Netflix households and [Amazon] Prime households — the idea that the broadest audience is historically on cable — that’s becoming a lot less clear,” said Maffei.
Netflix is widely credited with growing the sport’s popularity through its hit series “Drive to Survive.”
“I don’t think we’d be sitting here at this racetrack [at the Miami Grand Prix] without what Netflix has done,” said Brown.