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Opposition Raised Against Planned F-1 Race at Hard Rock Stadium

Hard Rock Stadium F1 Site Plan

Miami Gardens residents and local officials are speaking out against a planned Formula 1 race at Hard Rock Stadium, amplifying their concerns at a public meeting Wednesday.

Last week, it was announced that Hard Rock Stadium–home of the Miami Dolphins–could host annual F-1 racing beginning in 2021, as the venue and F-1 reached an agreement in principal. Costs for the race would be covered by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, and current plans call for the event to take place on Hard Rock Stadium grounds and a public road outside of it.

Thus far, the plan is drawing plenty of criticism from local elected leaders and residents of Miami Gardens, who have cited concerns such as how it could ruin air quality, create traffic problems, and bring unsafe levels of noise. During a Miami Gardens City Council meeting on Wednesday, a reported total of roughly 30 residents spoke out against the plan and, ultimately, the council passed a resolution to oppose the race.

While the City of Miami Gardens and Miami-Dade County could face limited options legally because of an agreement that allows the Dolphins to stage races on stadium property, the county is expected to consider measures next week that could at least complicate the path toward hosting a race. More from the Miami Herald:

But the city and county’s options are limited. The Dolphins have a legal right to host racing events at the stadium site under the terms of an agreement with Miami-Dade County.

[County Commissioner Barbara] Jordan has placed two items on next Tuesday’s Miami-Dade Commission agenda that would, at the very least, put road blocks in the project’s path. First, she drafted a resolution that would give the commission the power to deny street closures related to racing events, a power that currently lies with the county administration, Jordan said.

Second, she proposed an ordinance — anticipating that the Dolphins might offer to host the event inside the stadium without using public roads — that would force the team to acquire special events permits from both the city and the county.

Two representatives for the Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium spoke at Wednesday’s meeting, touting the economic, entertainment and employment benefits an annual F1 event could bring.

“This is a major event that will bring more jobs, more opportunity,” said Myles Pistorius, the senior vice president and general counsel for the Dolphins and the stadium. “We’ve offered a very attractive package of internships, [education] programs [and] tickets … This resolution frankly is premature and we’d like to continue a dialogue.”

Originally opening in 1987 as Joe Robbie Stadium, Hard Rock Stadium has broadened its event slate in recent years to host more than Dolphins and University of Miami football games, fueled in no small part by hundreds of millions of dollars in renovations led by Ross. The stadium’s non-football event slate has included soccer matches, concerts, tennis’s annual Miami Open, and more, so a race would certainly broaden that strategy.

Rendering courtesy Miami Dolphins.

RELATED STORIES: Hard Rock Stadium Moves Toward Hosting F-1 Race

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