Formula 1 has an agreement in principle with the local promoter for the Miami Grand Prix, with plans to run the race around the Hard Rock Cafe Stadium confirmed.
F1 had previously targeted a race in the harbourside area but the plans were hit by local opposition and the complications of securing permits from the several authorities with jurisdiction.
That meant a switch in focus to the area around the Miami Dolphins NFL team’s stadium, which is also owned by promoter Stephen Ross’s RSE Ventures organisation, and a track layout has been designed that uses mostly car parks and land owned by the stadium. It also includes around half a mile of public roads along Northwest 199th Street, to the south of the stadium.
A joint statement has been issued on the Miami GP’s official website between the stadium and Dolphins vice chairman and CEO Tom Garfinkel and F1 commercial boss Sean Bratches.
It read: “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.
“With an estimated annual impact of more than $400 million and 35,000 room nights, the Formula 1 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.”
On his Twitter feed Garfinkel indicated that the race would be held in May – a month that currently includes the Dutch, Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix.
The switch to the Hard Rock Stadium venue means the race will require the support of fewer authorities that the original downtown course – where the Bayfront Park authority had proved difficult – but it will still need the backing of the Miami-Dade County Commission.
County Commissioner Barbara Jordan, who hosted a meeting of local residents concerned about the race, had outlined she was opposed to the event.
“It [the meeting] solidified my position as a no,” she noted. “In terms of something this community does not want.”
F1 CEO Chase Carey has previously stressed that building F1’s profile in the United States through an extra race in Miami or Las Vegas remains a priority, and the Miami race has previously proved controversial with other grand prix promoters.