Field of dreams: Las Vegas concours moving from golf course to baseball stadium

Ballpark setting provides seating (and shade) and other amenities for concours

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Las Vegas Ballpark and its huge video screen will be the site of the second Las Vegas Concours d'Elegance in late October 2020 | Larry Edsall photos

To put it mildly, Stuart Sobek thinks outside the box. Not only did he organize the inaugural Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance this past fall, but now he’s moving it to a new venue. And get this: The new venue is not the traditional golf-course setting for such events.

“We did our first show at Dragon Ridge (golf club) and it was good and it was what we wanted,” Sobek said. “It was a good way to start, to get our message out and to show the level of what we were doing.”

But, Sobek added, even as he was organizing the inaugural event, he was wondering about the possibility of changing venues on an annual basis.

“Would that be fun?” he wondered. “Rather than going to the same place every year. We have so many things in Vegas to do. Let’s show it off.”

Inaugural Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance was held amid the sand traps of the Dragon Ridge Golf Club | Larry Edsall photo

Thus, the second Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance is leaving the golf course for a very different setting, the Las Vegas Ballpark, the spectacular and barely year-old home of the Las Vegas Aviators, Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics baseball team. 

“Lo and behold, the Ballpark comes out of the ground last year,” Sobek said. “It’s a huge success. I’d love to do a show there, it would take concours into the 21st century.”

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And lo and behold, it turns out the Ballpark is eager to host the concours. 

“It is an entertainment facility, not just a ballpark,” Sobek learned when he contacted the park managers. 

Copperstate 1000 vintage rally in Phoenix annually holds its kickoff car show in Tempe Diablo Stadium, spring training home of the California Angels

Moving from a golf course to the baseball field also provides acres of adjacent parking, room for everyone to sit down (the Ballpark has nearly 10,000 seats — and many of them are shaded from the Nevada sun) and there are real rest rooms and concession stands with much more than the usual ballfield offerings. And then there’s this gigantic video screen.

Sobek said the screen will make it possible to turn the concours awards presentation into a “real show,” a way to educate the audience about the cars. The idea is to turn the downtime, while judges select the best of show from among the class-winning cars, into a concours version of baseball’s 7th inning stretch. And all while maintaining the atmosphere befitting a parade of automotive elegance and excellence.

“We’re celebrating the beauty and elegance of a concours d’elegance,” Sobek said. “This isn’t just a car show. It’s an exhibition of the world’s best cars.” 

And he’s hoping an intimate new stadium can provide a proper setting.

The Ballpark’s location, in the upscale community of Summerlin, just west of Las Vegas, also means that instead of a Sunday morning drive up The Strip, the concours cars will do a driving tour through the nearby Red Rock Canyon national conservation area.

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Sobek is so excited by the opportunities he sees from moving the concours that, “I’d like it to be our home forever.” 

However, he’ll wait and see how the concours participants and spectators react to the new venue before scheduling any location for 2021.

The second Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for October 23-25.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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