Workers Strikes And Vandalism; Locals Are Pushing Back Against Formula 1 And The Las Vegas Grand Prix

It's not been plain sailing for the inaugural race event.

Workers Strikes And Vandalism; Locals Are Pushing Back Against Formula 1 And The Las Vegas Grand Prix

Image: Red Bull Content Pool

Las Vegas residents and visitors have taken it upon themselves to remove the temporary screens and structures installed by Formula 1 organisers to obstruct the view of the Las Vegas circuit, in order to take photos of the ever-changing Las Vegas Sphere.

Since the announcement of the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, construction has started to completely renovate the iconic Vegas strip in anticipation of the highly-anticipated Formula 1 race weekend that is set to start this month.

Liberty Media CFO Brian Wilding revealed the construction of a permanent paddock is expected to cost at least $400 million USD (~$612 million AUD), and it appears the fans are going to be the ones paying the price.

Hotels throughout the city are bumping up their prices to astronomical heights to due demand and ticket prices for events throughout the weekend are commanding a much higher fee than the rest of the host cities throughout this Formula 1 season.

Image: Formula 1

From the temporary grandstands built as Vegas prepares to welcome hundreds of thousands of eager race fans, to the overhanging track lights that sit over pedestrianised roads and streets, there’s evidence of Formula 1’s influence throughout the Boulevard.

It’ll be a spectacle like no other and once in full swing will feel more like a Formula 1 festival than just a singular race event, with international music artists and groups all set to perform during the Opening Ceremony days before the actual race.

But locals and tourists have grown increasingly resentful with each passing day, frustrated by the increasing restrictions placed around their town as they welcome the travelling F1 convoy into town.

Grand Prix organisers are facing heavy backlash from Las Vegas locals after it was revealed screen dividers had been put up across a prominent bridge to stop people from watching the race without paying.

Iconic sights such as the Bellagio, which will be used for the Winner’s Stage after the race, are now hidden from view as the town transforms into a full-scale paddock, and the event’s commodification has led to many of the city’s tourists missing out on seeing these famous spectacles.

Image: Bellagio Fountain Club

Inevitably, people took matters into their own hands and began to tear and rip down the restrictive screens ahead of the hotly-anticipated race. The screens also shielded the grandeur of the new Las Vegas Sphere, the $2.3 billion (~$3.5 billion AUD) stadium that’s dominated the Las Vegas skyline in recent months.

Many locals flocked to the scene to capture the protest.

This comes as with the news also breaking that more than 35,000 of Las Vegas’ Hospitality workers are set to strike just days before the Las Vegas Grand Prix is set to start, campaigning for an increased hourly rate to justify serving the international guests that are set to arrive for the Formula 1.