New Miami GP venue 'a lot better' than original plan


Miami Grand Prix managing partner Tom Garfinkel believes the Hard Rock Stadium site where F1 will race next year will prove to be a much better venue for the sport compared to its original planned race near downtown Miami.

Formula 1 announced last weekend a ten-year contract with event promotor Miami Grand Prix, a deal that the two parties finally got across the line last week following a year of talks and hearings with local authorities and residents of Miami Gardens.

Formula 1 had originally set its sights on racing near downtown Miami, at a location centered around Biscayne Boulevard and Bayfront Park, but strong and unsurmountable local opposition forced the plan to be scrapped in favour of the new venue adjacent to the Hard Rock Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.

Garfinkel is convinced the change is a trade up for F1.

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“I think that in some ways it’s going to be a lot better,” he said. “In certain respects, when you talk about when we originally looked at the city design, you have a lot of constraints around a race track.

“One of the first priorities, really the first priority, was creating a great racing circuit for the drivers, for fans, multiple passing opportunities.

“And when we looked at the Hard Rock site, we had basically a blank sheet of paper to work with designers, to work with Formula 1 and obviously the FIA – who I’d like to thank as well – to put together a race track that is dynamic in a lot of ways, hopefully.

“Secondly, to be able to put on great experiences that are uniquely reflective of the diversity of Miami and everything we do. And again, having existing infrastructure there, having things in place, we think we’re in a better position to be able to do that.”

Garfinkel said that F1’s future street circuit will be laid out in an environment by which fans will be “blown away when they get there”.

“It’s going to be completely transformed into a campus with landscaping and all kinds of different opportunities and food and beverage areas,” he insisted.

“Starting with a blank sheet of paper, being able to design a circuit with the designers and F1 and FIA that has a lot of passing opportunities, there’s going to be vistas really from the stadium which sits at the centre of the circuit.

“You could walk around the top deck of the stadium and see every turn in the racetrack. That’s a pretty unique opportunity.

“I think the infrastructure we have in place, the club spaces, the things we can take advantage of in and around the campus, it’s going to be beautiful.

“I don’t really see any limitations, in fact, I just see opportunities.”

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