Formula One’s prospective Miami Grand Prix—the street race taking place in the Miami Dolphins stadium—has been pretty back-and-forth with the whole “is it happening or not” thing. And a public meeting with the board of county commissioners at Miami-Dade City Hall on Tuesday proved once again that this race is going to be one hell of a struggle to put on.
The GP has become a hotly contested topic in the area. A motion entitled “Establishing county policy regarding motor vehicle racing” argued that there needed to be an even bigger public hearing in order to discuss and vote on this race, Motorsport.com reports. Two subsequent votes approved a new public hearing (which will take place in December) as well as requiring county commissioner approval for road closures.
The opposition sounds like they’re going largely for the moral outrage factor. Here’s what opposition group leader Betty T. Ferguson had to say:
“We have seen too often deep pockets paint rosy pictures and have their way, only to the embarrassment of the county at a later date. Don’t allow F1 promoters to come in and roll over us over, like we’re not even humans.
“They can produce all kinds of phony statements about how they can mitigate the deadly effects, but we can never erase deadly health damage, and possibly permanent hearing loss, especially to children. Even the county’s own study verifies the deadly effects.”
It sounds... very dramatic. Personally, I would love to see the studies talking about the deadly effects of F1. I can definitely see a noise-and-air-pollution argument, but there are plenty of kiddos who have attended F1 races their whole lives and still manage to come out unscathed on the other side.
The initial plans for the Miami Grand Prix involved a downtown street circuit, which was vetoed and moved to Miami Gardens and the Dolphins stadium. The race has been approved by several different votes with different commissioners, but public opinion remains steadily anti-F1.
Then again, there were plenty of road, land, zoning and NIMBY issues around Circuit of the Americas in Austin too when it got off the ground, although that was way out in Elroy and not right in Miami the way Hard Rock Stadium is. Maybe they can still figure it all out.
We’ll have to wait until December to see the results of the next, larger public hearing—but I wouldn’t get too excited for the prospective 2021 race just yet.