The prospect of Formula One holding a grand prix in Miami has taken a major step forward after municipal officials approved the plan.
The city commission voted on the proposal late last week. Members of the public came out to voice their support and concerns about the event. But in the end, all five commissioners voted in favor of holding the street race in the South Florida metropolis.
“F1 is a worldwide sport with approximately 1.8 billion TV viewers annually,” said Mayor Francis Suarez, according to Autosport. “We would be probably the only city in the world that has F1 and all five major [U.S.] sports. This is a first step, and hopefully at some point there will be an agreement come before this commission that has been vetted by the community and be voted on.”
In addition to the city council, the Port of Miami and the greater Miami-Dade County are both reportedly on board with the proposal. The only unexpected amendment was to grant the Bayfront Park trust a seat at the negotiating table. The vote gives city manager Emilio Gonzalez authorization to begin negotiating with Formula One Management over the proposed race. The next step will be to draw up a contract to bring back to the city commission for approval by July 1.
The proposed route would run through downtown Miami and the water front, along Biscayne Boulevard, across the bridge to the port, and back around the American Airlines arena. It’s a similar layout that was previously used by IMSA, Indy, and Formula E, but with some modifications for Formula One.
Not For The First Time
If everything goes through, the Miami race would be the second F1 grand prix in the United States, alongside the race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. (That is, assuming the new race doesn’t end up replacing the existing one.)
It wouldn’t be the first time that the US has hosted two F1 races. Parallel grands prix were held at Long Beach in California and Watkins Glen in upstate New York, and again at Caesars Palace (in Las Vegas) and Detroit, all in the 1980s. In fact there were three held in 1984 with the addition of the Dallas Grand Prix.
Nor would it be the first time that F1 will have raced in Florida, after the US Grand Prix was held at Sebring in 1959. F1 races have also been held in Indianapolis, Phoenix, and Riverside (in California). Pre-war grands prix were also held in Santa Monica, San Francisco, Milwaukee, and Savannah, Georgia, just north of the Florida state line.