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F1 fans say they’re ‘priced out’ of Las Vegas Grand Prix following presale – KLAS – 8 News Now

by Nov 4, 2022Blog0 comments

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Even the biggest of F1 fans say they cannot afford next year’s return of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, forcing them to compromise.
Three-to-four-day packages for the November 2023 race went on sale Monday for American Express Early Access customers. Tickets are only sold as multi-day passes to one of the six viewing areas along the middle and eastern portions of the strip, according to the official F1 Las Vegas twitter.
Louisa Coates is one of the thousands who hoped to secure tickets during the presale phase. The breast cancer patient calls southwest England home, where she met her fiancé, Duncan, when they were fourteen years old. She says their proposal was just a month after the race’s announcement.
“I’ve always been an F1 fan ever since I was little, in the days of Nigel Mansell,” Coates said during a virtual interview Wednesday afternoon. “When we got engaged, we said, ‘why don’t we do it in Vegas? At the same time as the grand prix?’”
The dream: to get married at the Paris Hotel the same weekend as the race. Coates said it was a way to combine her past residency in France and her current love of Duncan.
But combining the two loves of her life is becoming less of a “reality” after the first ticket prices were released Monday. Amex holders were shocked with sticker tags ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.
“Tickets are going on eBay for like 50, 80 thousand. It’s quite ridiculous. And the real fans that followed it for years that just want to experience it are being priced out of the market,” Coates said.
Now, plans the duo have sat on for over half a year are seemingly crumbling. Though she acknowledges her wedding day will be “special” regardless of venue, her dream of what it would look like is rapidly changing.
“When you start talking and planning your day, planning your big day, it’s really tough to get that image out of your head, thinking that this might not happen,” Coates said while tears swelled in her eyes. “I think I’ve got to face reality that this isn’t going to happen, and we need to look at something else, and then tell family that perhaps the plans that we had and the dreams we had, we’re going to have to reconsider and start re-planning.”
Even those living in the Las Vegas Valley believe tickets are unaffordable. Ciara Hite had plans to host her sports-loving family of eight in town next year, but after an hour and a half of trying to get affordably priced tickets Monday, plans changed.
“We saw online that it was starting at $500. When you see, ‘starting at $500,’ you think, ‘okay, well, the goal is to get those $500 tickets,’” Hite said inside her Henderson home Wednesday afternoon. “Everyone- my dad, my brother- everyone said ‘no, we’re out.’ I jokingly said, ‘I should just rent out the house and we can all go on vacation,’ and my dad’s like, ‘that’s actually probably a good idea.’”
Hite is now advertising her house as a rental for race weekend amidst skyrocketing hotel rates that weekend. Data 8 News Now compared shows an average rate increases over 300% for nearby hotels race weekend compared to those of the same week this year. 
“I would think that I would start at $3,000, maybe $4,000 a night. You can fit 10 people easily in this house, if not more, compared to $1,500 for a two-bed hotel room,” Hite said. “It’s disappointing that I didn’t get tickets, but maybe I can rent out my house and it’ll be a good trade-off.”
The presale seen Monday is just the first phase of the sale. Priority Interest List goes on sale Thursday, which Coates said required a payment of $7 to join. Public on-sale begins on Saturday, the same day as the F1 launch party on the Strip.
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