Saturday December 9, 2023

The $2.3B Sphere Emerges As Vegas GP’s Biggest Spectacle

  • Next-generation venue to play several prominent roles during race week.
  • Sports properties continue to embrace facility, despite it being designed for arts.
Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix
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A venue that wasn’t even designed and built for sports has become a focal point of the Las Vegas Grand Prix — even before the race actually happens. 

The $2.3 billion Sphere, the next-generation venue developed by New York Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan, is playing several prominent roles during race week.

The venue is right along the race course, with a key grandstand set up just outside the venue and drivers going around the Sphere at turns five through nine. 

The Sphere itself is being used for F1 hospitality in an area sponsored by T-Mobile. And the venue’s famous exosphere is being used not only for various race-related advertising campaigns, including those of Aston Martin and Heineken, but also real-time pole positions.

“This is one of the world’s premier sporting events, and we are ready to showcase [the] Sphere to our global audience via F1 — both in person in Las Vegas, and watching around the world,” said Joel Fisher, MSG Entertainment executive vice president for marquee events and operations. 

There has been a key modification to the Sphere for the race, though. Red, yellow, and blue colors will not be displayed, so as to not invite misinterpretation by drivers during competition. 

Surging Interest

F1’s use of the Sphere reflects a fast-growing interest in the immersive venue by sports properties. 

After the Sphere initially garnered widespread attention from the start of U2’s ongoing run of shows there, UFC quickly secured a 2024 date there, and other sports properties are expected to follow. 

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