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Hard Rock Stadium Moves Toward Hosting F-1 Race

Hard Rock Stadium F1

Hard Rock Stadium could add Formula 1 Racing to its unique slate of non-football events, as the home of the Miami Dolphins and F-1 have reached an agreement in principal for annual racing starting in 2021.

Originally opening as Joe Robbie Stadium in 1987, Hard Rock Stadium has undergone an evolution in recent years, the result of hundreds of millions of dollars in renovations led by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. As those renovations have taken shape, Hard Rock Stadium has expanded its event programming beyond the Dolphins and University of Miami football to host soccer matches, concerts, tennis’s annual Miami Open, and more.

The venue has taken a major step toward adding a racing event in the future, announcing an agreement in principal this week with F-1 to bring an annual race to Hard Rock Stadium’s grounds beginning in May 2021. Adding an F-1 event to Hard Rock Stadium’s slate would make for an interesting use of the facility’s grounds, and the Dolphins and F-1 officials have emphasized the event’s anticipated economic impact. However, plans for a race require approval from the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners before moving forward. Commissioners have yet to issue a decision, though the plan has drawn criticism thus far from some elected leaders and Miami Gardens residents. More from the Miami Herald

“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,” Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel and Sean Bratches, F-1’s managing director of commercial operations, said in a joint statement. “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,” Garfinkel added. “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.”…

There has been pushback from Miami Gardens residents, Commissioner Barbara Jordan, whose district includes Hard Rock Stadium, and Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert, who is running to replace her. Both Jordan and Gilbert have come out publicly against holding the event.

Jordan proposed legislation to require a commission vote before Formula One could win county approval for the temporary closure of part of Northwest 199th Street during race weekend. A decision on the legislation could come this month.

Current plans call for the racetrack to be contained mostly on Hard Rock Stadium grounds. Should the race come to fruition, it would represent the latest major event to take place at Hard Rock Stadium. The upcoming Super Bowl LIV will be hosted there in February—marking the stadium’s sixth overall, and the first since the renovations—and it will be the site of the College Football Playoff National Championship in 2021.

Hard Rock Stadium F1 Site Plan

Renderings courtesy Miami Dolphins.

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August Publications