F1 Las Vegas Privacy Screens Vandalized by Tourists

Posted on: October 31, 2023, 11:22h. 

Last updated on: October 31, 2023, 11:22h.

Tourists disrupt Formula 1 preparations for Las Vegas Grand Prix

In less than three weeks, the highly anticipated Las Vegas Grand Prix will take place. However, Formula 1 crews have faced challenges with tourists vandalizing their work on the Strip. The crews have been working tirelessly to prepare for the race, but tourists have removed an opaque grey film, blocking the best public view of the MSG Sphere. Officials claim that the tourists are vandals, while the tourists argue that they removed the film to get a better view of the Sphere’s external display. They also took selfies with it.

Vegas tourists photograph the MSG Sphere through glass panels. This view was obscured last week by opaque grey screens, which were improperly removed earlier this week. Their remnants can be seen above the toursts’ heads. (Image: KVVU-TV)

Thousands of tourists visit the pedestrian bridges connecting the Palazzo with the Fashion Show mall across Sands Avenue each day, specifically to get a glimpse of the MSG Sphere. However, privacy screens have recently been installed on these bridges, obstructing the view. These screens, similar to vehicle wrapping film, are easily removable once a cut is made.

Clark County officials argue that the privacy screens are necessary for safety reasons. If the views of the racecars underneath the bridges are not obstructed, large crowds of pedestrians may gather on the bridges, potentially impeding the flow of pedestrian traffic during the race. However, social media users believe that the true motive behind the screens is to prevent poor people from seeing the race.

The demand for prime views of the Grand Prix racetrack has been a priority for Formula 1. Venues facing the track were initially demanded to pay $1,500 per maximum-occupancy head, with potential obstructions and barricades for non-compliant venues. However, this demand was later reduced to a flat fee of around $50K per venue. The cheapest option for watching the race is currently a three-day pass in the East Harmon Zone, priced at $1,529 on StubHub.

It is evident that removing the privacy screens has created controversy, with debates on whether it constitutes an act of vandalism or protest. Nonetheless, Formula 1 must acknowledge that early preparations for future races may go to waste if not timed correctly. Additionally, guards will need to be stationed at each pedestrian bridge to prevent further removal of the screens during the race. As race week approaches, enclosures will also be installed on the bridges to prevent objects from being thrown onto the track.

The Las Vegas Grand Prix is scheduled to begin on Saturday, November 18, at 10 p.m.

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