The 2022 Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix was always going to be a display of excess, but many fans didn’t realize just how expensive it was going to be until ticket prices soared into the thousands of dollars — and that was before flights, rental cars, lodging, and food costs. So, what was it like for the average fan to attend the race? I had to find out.
I want to stress that Kate and Nicole aren’t, like, Paris Hilton’s cousins or members of the Kardashian family or some descendants of Monegasque royalty. They, like me, are two very cool humans who are really passionate about motorsport and just wanted to head to the race. They’re both employed in the press relations or communications industries for non-motorsport events, and they came to Miami as a mini-vacation — and they were kind enough to help shed some light on the Grand Prix’s expenses for the fine folks here at Jalopnik.
Kate and Nicole were two of the lucky fans that actually managed to grab tickets during the presale, and they had two tickets for the second row of the Red Bull grandstand in turn 18, which they told me cost $720 each.
“After talking with others who bought tickets from the presale, that seems to be the lowest price that was available,” they told me. The only cheaper tickets were General Admission, which did not guarantee a specific seat.
When it came to traveling to the track, Kate and Nicole — from Boston and New York City, respectively — opted against flying directly into Miami, instead traveling to Fort Meyers, FL, where they stayed with friends. It was a smart decision, since it enabled them to borrow a friend’s car for the weekend, and it also cut down on flight costs.
Returning home from Miami, Nicole returned her friend’s car to Fort Meyers and flew out of that airport. Kate looked at flight prices in Miami and Fort Lauderdale and selected the cheapest option.
All told, they said their flights ranged between $300 and $500, depending on the Florida airport they chose.
“We purchased flights in January in order to get ahead of the rush,” they added. “Flights ended up going up by at least $100 to 200 by the time the race came around.
I can absolutely vouch for that; I started looking at my flights in late April, by which time the cheapest round-trip tickets from San Antonio to Miami were over $600.
Kate and Nicole split an Airbnb house with three other friends, and they opted to stay closer to the Hard Rock Stadium than to the downtown area to make commuting much easier. Split between five people between the Thursday and Monday of the race weekend, they said it cost about $300 per person.
They told me that they “definitely recommend” staying in an Airbnb, since it gave them the flexibility to stay with friends and have home-cooked meals to save money — and I definitely agree. The cost of my Hollywood Airbnb for an entire weekend was roughly equal to the cost of one night in a South Beach hotel. I had parking, a kitchen, and tons of space to spread out.
“We didn’t eat much at the track because it was just too hot, and most of the food was hot as well,” Kate and Nicole told me. “We ate big breakfasts before leaving for the track every day, and grabbed food afterwards.”
That was likely a smart move, since at-track food prices were fairly high. Business Insider noted that burgers were $16 each and hot dogs were $10 each. Kate and Nicole added that water bottles were sold for $5, but the recyclable aluminum bottles the water came in got hot very quickly. After noticing they could bring their own sealed water bottles and small snacks inside, they opted to do that rather than purchase track food.
By borrowing a friend’s car, Kate and Nicole saved plenty of money on rental cars and rideshares, but parking for the race ended up costing $180 for the weekend.
“There were a few options for driving: park and ride, or park and walk,” they told me. The park and walk option got you parking spaces closer to the track but required you to walk to the gate. The park and ride option got you a parking spot farther away but a shuttle ride to the gate.
“We chose to park and walk and had a short walk to get in,” they added.
For dinner or non-race related trips, they used an Uber XL, which they said cost about $50 each way.
All things told, Kate and Nicole each spent at least $1,410 — and that’s only counting race tickets, flights, lodging, and parking for the event. They likely also accrued costs for gas, dinners, Ubers, and more.
No Formula 1 race is ever exactly cheap, but Miami’s ticket prices alone cemented its place as one of the most expensive events on the F1 calendar — and both the city itself and the venue increased prices to match demand. So, if you’re planning on hitting this race up in the future, it’s best to start saving now.