Formula 1 In Miami Could Be Back On—This Time Around The Hard Rock Stadium In May 2021
Formula 1’s much-vaunted Miami Grand Prix is back on it seems, and could be a reality in May 2021. F1 has just formed an agreement in principle with Hard Rock Stadium for the race in the famous Florida city to take place around the stadium. The agreement was announced in a joint statement by F1 commercial boss Sean Bratches and Hard Rock Stadium Vice Chairman and CEO Tom Garfinkel.
“We are thrilled to announce that Formula One and Hard Rock Stadium have reached an agreement in principle to host the first-ever Formula One Miami Grand Prix at Hard Rock Stadium,” read the statement on f1mia.com. “With an estimated annual impact of more than $400 million and 35,000 room nights, the Formula One Miami Grand Prix will be an economic juggernaut for South Florida each and every year.
“We are deeply grateful to our fans, elected officials and the local tourism industry for their patience and support throughout this process. We look forward to bringing the greatest racing spectacle on the planet for the first time to one of the world’s most iconic and glamorous regions.”
It has been reported that the first Miami race is intended to take place in 2021, and Garfinkel later on his Twitter feed indicated that it would be held in May, a month currently filled mainly with European F1 events including Monaco towards the end of the month. “Imagine people coming to this region from around the world in May,” Garfinkel posted. “Multiple passing zones and world-class clubs and amenities. Barcelona, Monaco… Miami… make it happen.”
F1 owner Liberty has been pushing for races in ‘destination cities’ and a race in Miami has long appeared high on its list. In May 2017 Liberty joined forces with billionaire local businessman Stephen Ross seeking to hold a Miami race in a downtown harborside location. That however foundered on local opposition and bureaucratic complications.
Therefore focus has switched to holding the race in the area around the stadium, which is also owned by Ross’s RSE Ventures organization, and is best known as the home of the NFL team the Miami Dolphins. If the race happens it would become F1’s second USA event on the current calendar, alongside the race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, which has a contract up to and including 2021. It would be the first time since 1984 that F1 has had two US races.
A Miami track layout around the stadium has been designed and unveiled along with artist’s impressions of the event. The circuit would use car parks and land owned by the stadium mainly, though it also takes in a section of public road along Northwest 199th Street.
The race still requires the approval of Miami-Dade County commissioners. There has been opposition from Miami Gardens residents—concerned about the noise disruption and pollution—while Commissioner Barbara Jordan, whose district includes the stadium, and Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert, who is running to replace her, both have come out against the race.
Jordan proposed legislation to require a commission vote before the race could get county approval for the public road closure required for the circuit during race weekend. A decision on the legislation could arrive this month, though organizers are hopeful that the more self-contained nature of this circuit, and it being away from residential areas, could tilt matters in its favor this time.