F1 in Vegas...Bernie speaks out

Discussion in 'F1' started by TeamF1Jr, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. TeamF1Jr

    TeamF1Jr Formula 3

    Nov 8, 2003
    Lake Mead

    Although Bernie is doing a little poker playing himself playing Tony George against Vegas (Steve Wynn) to gain $$$ for the spot to hold the one USA GP, you can bet Vegas is a serious contender.

    This has been rumored for years, but we all know what Wynn wants Wynn gets and Mayor Goodman I'm sure will be happy to make this happen politically. Whether you like the idea or not, it just make $ense F1 should be there.
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  3. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Oct 3, 2002
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    Street race on the Strip?

    Fine by me. Bring it on!
  4. senna21

    senna21 F1 Rookie

    Jul 2, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Full Name:
    Charles W
    :rolleyes: The last time F1 was in Vegas it was a total joke. While I'm sure they won't put the track back in the Caesars parking lot like they did the last time Vegas would be the last place on earth I'd want to see an F1 race.

    This just shows that Bernie is simply looking for the cash pay out. There are multiple tracks worthy of F1 in the U.S. . Long Beach is one if you want a street race, but Bernie won't go back there. Watkins Glen, Road America are both on par with Spa but because of their "remote" locations I doubt he'd run at either of those. Laguna Seca? Also a world class track, not as remote but once again he'd pass on it and go for the big bucks to be had in Vegas. :( If anyone's wondering what's wrong with F1 these days this is one of the problems. To choose Vegas over any one of those tracks above is a crime.
  5. TeamF1Jr

    TeamF1Jr Formula 3

    Nov 8, 2003
    Lake Mead
    another article today on this.....

    Vegas has always been a home away from home for me, so although it won't be a SPA kinda circuit, I'm sorry gang, I love the idea. F1 drivers respect the history of Indy, but I don't they give a hoot about the circuit. A Vegas NIGHT race with the lights of the strip on, carbon brakes glowing and exhaust flames flying would be quite a spectacle.
  6. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Oct 3, 2002
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    It's not just that:
    All the tracks you mention aren't up to F1 standards, which include easy accessibility, paddock, grand stands, nearby airport etc.
    Vegas can't deliver all of them either, but more than any of the tracks you mentioned (you could add Road America to that list). And it is a vacation destination, hugely popular for tourists from the US and abroad. In essence all the ingridients to have a successful race. Successful as in sold-out seats and media coverage, which would help the sport in the US more than an "insider event" in the middle of nowhere.

    Racingwise I also welcome another street circuit. Only one in the calendar isn't enough since it is a very different kind of racing from road courses. Street circuits are only for the best: No mistakes or you're out.
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  8. jknight

    jknight F1 Veteran

    Oct 30, 2004
    Central Texas

    Very well stated!!

  9. Pagani16

    Pagani16 Formula 3

    Apr 25, 2005
    SoCal(San Diego)
    Full Name:
    Jason T.
    I agree, I think a new road track should be built if the want it to be successful. That is the only way to keep everyone happy.
  10. Snapper323

    Snapper323 Formula Junior

    Mar 12, 2005
    South Carolina
    Full Name:
    L. Lee
    I heard a while back that Bernie was looking for a road course here in the U.S. to compete with Monaco. I believed he looked at New York City as one of the sites.
  11. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Oct 3, 2002
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    Couple of things:

    The reason Bernie leaked the story is to test the waters and create pressure on the Indy track to sign on for future races. I don't think Bernie would want Vegas over Indy, too much prestige riding on Indy.

    Secondly if it came to a loss of Indy you got to be realistic: F1 is not very popular in the US and bringing any of the old/traditional tracks up to speed or to even build a new one demands massive financing. A risk nobody wants to accept. A street race in Vegas is a viable alternative. We as racing fans might think otherwise, but F1 is a business and the bottom line counts.

    Bernie is no fool. If he could get e.g. Laguna Seca up to F1 standards for only a bit more money than a street race in Vegas would cost, I'm sure he'd do it in a heartbeat. But the realities are worlds apart.

    If you want to hold a three day event with 100,000+ spectators, teams, sponsors and all the associated logistics, you want to be close to a major city/airport/highway etc. It is no coincidence NASCAR is so successful with its oval stadium approach.

    Snapper323: It is probably a bit easier and more realistic to block off streets in a vacation paradise than in a business metropolis. NYC doesn't need F1, but Vegas would gladly take in the $$$ of the vacationing families.
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  13. kirill

    kirill Formula Junior

    Jul 8, 2004
    Full Name:
    Agree. Berny and Moosley playing games "Sign or else ...."

    Vegas is a good idea from business point of view. I think casinos will pay good money to Berny so he can bring 100000 losers for 3 days. But on another hand - safety can be concern - in a street race there isn't so much run off as on track.

    I think Tony George is also playing games with Berny - to get the price down.

    And Berny wouldn't pay to have track build. Track will need to come up with money, get up to Berny's standard, than pay Bernys fee.

    I think USGP will stay at Indy. I like that track - 3 hour drive for me, and view from stand H is awesome.
  14. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Oct 3, 2002
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    I'll be one of those 100,000 loosers. Gladly.

    Safety is one concern, but I think the bigger issues are:

    a) The Strip as Bernie mentioned. I think even in a vacation paradise they're not as easily going to give up that prime road. And even if they do, there are a lot of obstacles to clear like poles, traffic islands etc. Just getting a good road surface isn't that easy as we saw in the past in Detroit, Phoenix and Houston. Monaco has been fine tuning its organization of building up the guardrails over the decades. It ain't that easy to get it all in place on time.

    b) Paddock. Ironically it is Bernie who demands the standard sized big F1 paddocks etc and precisely that is missing in Vegas. So it would have to be built permanently somewhere on prime real estate in the city. Not easy and not cheap.

    If Tony George and Co. are clever (and we know they are) they will call Bernie's bluff.
  15. Pagani16

    Pagani16 Formula 3

    Apr 25, 2005
    SoCal(San Diego)
    Full Name:
    Jason T.
    What if Cart agrees to race at a new track? I don't see a street race in Vegas as entertaining and I don’t see it being a success with the few American fans. I believe with a road coarse F1 could gain new fans since Indy is a modified oval. The hell with history look at the new tracks in F1 and more may be on the way, you know Bernie would love to keep adding new tracks every few years and keep dropping old ones because that puts money in his pockets and increases F1 interests. All he needs is Gov. Support and sponsors.
  16. Thatsmytoy

    Thatsmytoy Karting

    Nov 5, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Full Name:
    How about the North Island Naval Base in San Diego where they have
    the classic car races every October?
    Whats Bernie's email address?
  17. Pagani16

    Pagani16 Formula 3

    Apr 25, 2005
    SoCal(San Diego)
    Full Name:
    Jason T.
    Good one lol....
  18. Gilles27

    Gilles27 F1 World Champ

    Mar 16, 2002
    Full Name:
    As fun as it sounds, Vegas will never close down the strip for a grand prix race. That would mean essentially shutting down all access to foot traffic as well to accommodate safety barriers, paddocks, etc. Besides, these days Vegas seems like it's damn near booked up every weekend of the year, so it's not like they need a grand prix running up their arse to attract more tourists.
  19. F2003-GA

    F2003-GA F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2003
    Full Name:
    Bernie has nowhere to go besides Indy.He is worried they will cut his fees back because the race loses money. I hope Tony cuts a better deal for himself this time around.
  20. joker57676

    joker57676 Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 12, 2005
    Sin City
    Full Name:
    Deplorie McDeplorableface

    Thats not true I don't think. I lived in Vegas for 7 years and they shut down the strip at least a few times a year for different event. It would take a large amount of money and planning but, I think, and hope, they could do it. I know I'll definately be there if it ever moves.

  21. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    I have heard that the street track would be an interim solution only and a new multi use racing facility may be built by Penske. Also that Vegas was chosen for their amenability to the project. They have lots of land, out in the desert no one will complain about the noise, the community is built on a tourist economy, has an international airport and the ability to put up, feed and entertain tens of thousands of visitors.
  22. Remy Zero

    Remy Zero Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2005
    KL, Malaysia
    Full Name:
    MC Cool Breeze
    whats up with long beach? bernie didn;t say why he won;t go there...
  23. Papa G

    Papa G Formula 3

    Dec 29, 2003
    How about Road Atlanta or Barber Motorsports Park? I'm not sure if both these tracks meet Bernies criteria but it would be fantastic to see F1 cars race there.
  24. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    Quickest alternative to Indy would be Daytona with the 24 hour road course setup. Sure it would be boring like the USGP currently is, but at least it's within driving distance for me. :)

    I would think it would be awesome for a street course in San Fran. Going up and down the hills, over the Golden Gate bridge. Of course that only happens in video games, but it would be cool to see. Not many hotels there, though.
  25. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Oct 3, 2002
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    Haven't heard the Penske angle to the story, but that would actually make it a lot more plausible than a bluff. And your reasons are all on the money for a big F1 event. Where can I sign?

    Seriously, Vegas would be a lot easier on families than Indy: There is not much else to do in Indy, but Vegas offers stuff for everybody while dad is at the races. And visitors from abroad can combine it with the ever so popular visits to Calif, LA, San Fran. A promoter's dream come true.
  26. bobleb

    bobleb Formula 3

    Mar 9, 2004
    Las Vegas, NV
    Full Name:
    Bob Lebenson
    That is true, about being fully booked. But I think that F1 attendees are perceived as being a wealthier crowd than the visitors on an "average" weekend. There is a significant increase in income to the hotels during "event" periods ... higher room rates, more money left on the tables and in restaurants and shops.

    Additionally, Las Vegas is most interested in attracting new visitors from outside the United States, and introducing them to its attractions, in the hope of securing their repeat business. F1 would be an ideal opportunity to do so.
  27. mpatrizio

    mpatrizio Formula Junior

    Dec 29, 2004
    Miami, Fl
    Full Name:
    Mike P.

    A new desert track, ala Dubai or Bahrain.....

    And they could build it real fast in the desert...

    Nevertheless, as I see it the biggest issue facing F1 race promoters are the huge fees due to Bernie's FOM and the teams. I ran the numbers a few years ago about this, and the bottom line is that the only way to break even is to sell the tickets at $200-500 each or pack in 150,000 fans at $90 like Indy does.

    In the american market, they would need to make money thru volume at the turnstiles because most people in this country won't pay $200 to see 2 hours of racing.

    Which is why financially Daytona remains the most obvious alternative to Indy.

    Remember that all the other world GPs are supported by the local gov'ts. IE: Malaysia pays the fees for the Sepang race, and Oz chips in for Melbourne. This is also part of the reason why Spa went under. The Gov't stopped putting money into the race.

    Here's Bernie's wish list for a venue as I know it:

    *Easy Airport ingress & egress (tracks like Road America are out with this one)
    *FIA safety certified (Laguna Seca is out with this one)
    *F1 Garages & Paddock space (Most tracks don't have this, Daytona does)
    *A high profile or historically significant location that would entice europeans to travel.

    Oh.... and most important....

    *That the venue promoter will pay the fees.
  28. ProCoach

    ProCoach F1 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2004
    VIR Raceway
    Full Name:
    Believe it or not, that was the goal of Don Panoz after he purchased Road Atlanta from Jim Kanely and his partners. (Ferrari content :)) The whole idea of filling in the dip, new curbing, pits on the inside, cutting back the banks to enlarge runoff was primarily to make a bid for F1 by attempting to meet FIA requirements (at that time, much more strict now). After F1 snubbed him, he approached CART and then after that, formed ALMS, probably to build equity into his race track holdings (Sebring, Road Atlanta and Mosport) <very big grin>

    When George Barber built his track, it was always with FIM standards in mind. His first love is motorcycles, even though he has some cool vintage cars in his collection. The way Allan Wilson laid the course (even though it's probably his best one, and that's not saying much), it's not really suitable for top-echelon cars...

    Viva Las Vegas!

    -Peter (going to Barber in April!)

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