Formula One’s plans to host a Grand Prix in Miami have shifted from a downtown-track idea to a new site adjacent to Hard Rock Stadium, home to the Miami Open tennis tournament and the National Football League’s (NFL) Miami Dolphins.
Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross and Formula One have agreed to scrap the pursuit of the city circuit after a litany of issues.
Miami City Commission recently postponed a vote on the proposition of a downtown Formula One event until May.
The continued setbacks on this potential addition to the race calendar have left series owners Liberty Media in a difficult position after they announced in 2018 a Miami Grand Prix would be in place for the ongoing 2019 season.
As a result the focus has now shifted towards the site next to Hard Rock Stadium, which has recently undergone US$700 million in renovations and now plays host to the Miami Open top-level tennis event.
A race in this new location would apparently alleviate the disruption to businesses and residents in comparison to a downtown race, with Tom Garfinkel, Hard Rock Stadium vice chairman and chief executive, confident the change in approach would gain approval.
“We want to do something great for Miami," he said, "but unfortunately when we finally received the detailed report of what it would take to build out a street circuit each year, the multiple weeks of traffic and construction disruption would have been significant; which Steve [Ross] and I felt defeated the purpose.
“We have over 250 acres of land so adding a Formula One race to where Hard Rock Stadium and the Miami Open sit means we can create a world-class racing circuit that is unencumbered by existing infrastructure.
“With over 70 per cent of fans expected to come from around the globe and week-long event activation throughout Miami, the economic impact of a Formula One race to Miami would be along the same lines of a Super Bowl.”
Liberty Media has long made its desire known to add a second US grand prix, with the Circuit of Americas in Austin, Texas having held the country’s sole event since 2012.