Las Vegas Provides No Payday for NASCAR in Exchange for Awards Banquet
Previously, NASCAR received a monetary incentive to hold its awards ceremony in Las Vegas, but not this year.
NASCAR announced in late May the dates and locations for its 2018 season-end awards banquets including the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards ceremony Nov. 29 at Wynn Las Vegas, and the annual joint banquet for the NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck series Dec. 8 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. A recent ESPN report revealed the return of the Cup Series banquet to Las Vegas comes despite the sanctioning body not receiving $400,000 from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, as it has the last three years.
"NASCAR will arrive in Las Vegas already down around $400,000, as NASCAR won't receive a penny for bringing its postseason celebration,” the ESPN article stated.
Instead, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority gave Speedway Motorsports Inc. a $2.5 million annual incentive to attract a second NASCAR weekend anchored by the Cup Series to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. SMI, the parent company of LVMS, received permission from NASCAR to shift one of its dates from another one of its tracks, New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, to LVMS. As a result, in 2018, in addition to hosting the third race of the 36-race season, the Las Vegas track also hosts the first race of the 10-race playoffs on Sept. 16.
Las Vegas has hosted a NASCAR Champion’s Week, culminating in the premier-series awards banquet, since 2009 with the Wynn playing host to the awards ceremony each of those years. Fan-friendly festivities at multiple locations on the Las Vegas Strip, including a victory lap and question-and-answer sessions involving playoff drivers, have dotted the calendar in the days leading up to the banquet since the event moved to Las Vegas.
Previously, the end-of-season awards ceremony was hosted by the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. New York never paid NASCAR to host the event. The Waldorf-Astoria had hosted the event since 1981.