F1 Strikes Preliminary Deal To Hold 2021 Race At Miami Dolphins Stadium

Image: Hard Rock Stadium

The Miami Grand Prix that never was may still be, according to a report from the Miami Herald. The Herald reports that Formula One came to a preliminary agreement with the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium for a race in May 2021, and both are waiting for approval from the government of Miami-Dade County.

Update: Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 4:49 p.m. ET: Right after this published, a Dolphins communications manager confirmed the Herald report to Jalopnik, also sending a version of the below statement included by the Herald. The comms manager also sent over hi-res versions of the renderings, so enjoy.

Advertisement

“Subject to the cooperation of the Miami-Dade County Commission, we expect the first race to take place in May 2021,” the statement sent to Jalopnik read.

(Also, the above update formerly said “Tuesday, Oct. 14.” Sorry about that.)

Update: Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 8:18 a.m.: F1 responded to Jalopnik, saying it has no further comment than the joint statement included in this story.

Earlier: That means the Miami Grand Prix, originally planned to occur on a nightmare of a street course with a decade-long deal beginning this year and then delayed for all sorts of reasons, may still happen—only on the grounds of an NFL stadium instead of on the street.

The Herald story included a statement from executives at both the Dolphins and F1 about the deal, which read as such:

“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.”

Advertisement

There don’t appear to be any statements out from the Miami Dolphins, the stadium or F1 about the agreement, but the Herald posted track renderings, also included in this story, credited to the Dolphins.

Image: Hard Rock Stadium
Advertisement

Jalopnik has reached out to all three entities for comment, and will update this story if we hear back.

The Herald story, though, said once plans for a street course fell through due to the construction times to set the track up each year and other area complaints, talks moved to holding a grand prix at the stadium. But if the deal does happen, it will require major construction for a new track in a country that already has a whole lot of race tracks. From the story:

So that’s when organizers turned their attention to Hard Rock Stadium and its surrounding grounds, all of which are owned by Stephen Ross. Ross would cover all race costs, including an expected $40 million custom track to run predominantly on the Hard Rock Stadium grounds, which would make the Formula One race eligible for a marquee event grant per the 2014 agreement with the county.

Discussions began earlier this year with F-1 and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez. They remain ongoing.

Advertisement

The Herald reports that Bratches said the new plan keeps the race contained rather than requiring a bunch of street shutdowns, and that planners said the economic benefit “will be on the scale of a Super Bowl.”

Image: Hard Rock Stadium
Advertisement

If the Miami Grand Prix does happen, it’ll be one more step in the plan of F1’s now-American owners to bring more races to the States.

But if it doesn’t, well, there’s no need to be too surprised. This event has faced so many setbacks already that you can color us very skeptical until the starting lights go out.

Share This Story

About the author

Alanis King

Alanis King is a staff writer at Jalopnik.