Formula 1 reveals plan to stage Miami race at Dolphins stadium
Formula 1 says it has an agreement in principle with the owners of the Miami Dolphins NFL stadium to hold a race in the Florida city from 2021.
It is the latest development in an attempt by F1’s owners, US firm Liberty Media, to establish a race in Miami.
The proposal features a new track layout looping around the Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium in central Miami.
Organisers face a series of hurdles before the race takes place, including approval by Miami-Dade County.
There has been considerable local opposition to holding a grand prix in the city.
A previous attempt by F1, which featured a track in downtown Miami that went over a bridge to Miami Port and back, has already foundered following concerns about interruptions to business caused by the construction of the race track.
The new proposal is all on land owned by Stephen Rosso, the owner of American football franchise Miami Dolphins. As such, the event resembles the short-lived Ceasar’s Palace Grand Prix that was held twice in a car park of the casino in Las Vegas in 1981 and ’82.
In their statement, F1 commercial boss Sean Bratches and Tom Garfinkel, the chief executive of Hard Rock Stadium, emphasised the financial benefits to the city of the race.
“With an estimate annual impact of more than $400m and 35,000 room nights, the F1 Miami Grand Prix will be an economic juggernaut for South Florida each year,” the statement said.
Residents have raised concerns about traffic, noise and pollution and are being backed by key commissioners from Miami-Dade council, which is due to vote on the plans in the coming weeks.
Bratches has been focused on Miami as the ideal place to achieve F1’s ambitions of holding a grand prix in what he calls “destination cities” in the US.
The former ESPN executive is to leave his role in F1 at the end of this year, as reported by BBC Sport in August.
F1 already has one race in the USA, the successful United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, which was founded in 2012, but Liberty is determined to expand the sport in its home market. – bbc.com