Las Vegas City Council approves Vegas Grand Prix for April 6-8, 2007


LAS VEGAS (July 19, 2006) – The Las Vegas City Council voted unanimously today to allow DDB Ventures to proceed with a three-day “Festival of Speed.” The Vegas Grand Prix will be held in and around downtown Las Vegas April 6-8, 2007.  In addition to racing, the festival will include a major concert and championship boxing match. The Vegas Grand Prix will be the opening event of the 2007 Champ Car World Series schedule.

The race, featuring some of the sport’s top names, will be run over a specially constructed 2.4-mile, 14-turn street course that will include Ogden Avenue, Main Street, Casino Center Boulevard and Carson Avenue. A feature of the race circuit will be a fast-sweeping curve behind the Union Plaza, near the World Market Center and the Clark County Government Center, located on Grand Central Parkway.

“This will be a great weekend of world-class events for Las Vegas, especially for downtown,” said event organizer Dale Jensen, who is also a co-owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team and the Phoenix Suns National Basketball Association team. “We look forward to presenting a world-class three-day festival that includes racing, concerts, additional sporting events and related expositions in and around downtown. We’ll entertain locals and visitors – not to mention attract international exposure – to one of the world’s most famous places.”

Besides attracting race fans and affluent visitors from around the world, the festival is projected to generate an economic impact of about $76.7 million for downtown and surrounding areas of Las Vegas. The event is expected to generate an additional $3.8 million in state and local tax revenue. The race is scheduled to be televised live nationally on network television and internationally in more than 180 countries, generating positive media coverage and global exposure for Las Vegas in general, and downtown in particular.

“This particular event will bring color and excitement to downtown Las Vegas like never before,” said Bradley Yonover, who is a partner with Jensen in DDB Ventures, the company that owns the event. “With world-class auto racing and special events planned, the Vegas Grand Prix will be non-stop activity that will draw thousands to Glitter Gulch.”

Yonover said motorsports is a key to bolstering downtown Las Vegas, and the Vegas Grand Prix has the ingredients to not only attract locals and tourists but also boost revenues in the area.

“Las Vegas hasn’t seen auto racing like this since the old Caesars Palace Grand Prix in the 1980s,” Yonover added. “This is an ideal package that will draw people of all ages. It will become an annual must-see event for years to come.”

The Vegas Grand Prix will feature open-wheel cars that generate 750 horsepower and can reach speeds of up to 190 miles per hour. The single-seat cars have open cockpits, open wheels and wings providing down force.

“We are very pleased with today’s council decision, and we look forward to bringing our three-day ‘Festival of Speed’ to Las Vegas,” said Steve Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Champ Car. “We are especially excited to start the 2007 season with a brand-new race, and we are sure that the people of Las Vegas will be very pleased with the quality of the event we bring to their city.”

Predicted to be one of the largest events ever in downtown Las Vegas, the Vegas Grand Prix will include drivers from the Champ Car World Series, which has 15 races scheduled in the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Australia in 2006.

“The event has the potential to do great things for downtown and for Las Vegas in general,” Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said. “We look forward to welcoming motorsports back to downtown Las Vegas.”

Downtown Las Vegas was bolstered for several years by the Mint 400 Desert Race, a colorful spectacle that drew an estimated 400 off-road vehicles for tech inspection to Fremont Street each year.  The event ended in the 1980s, and organizers of the Vegas Grand Prix are confident this event will fill that void.