Planned Hard Rock Stadium F1 circuit for 2021 Miami Grand Prix

F1 claims it has agreement to race at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium in 2021

2021 F1 season

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An “agreement in principle” has been reached to hold a round of the 2021 F1 season in the City of Miami.

The race will take place on a track laid out around the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the National Football League team Miami Dolphins. Organisers are targeting a May slot on the 2021 F1 calendar.

A joint statement issued by F1 managing director for commercial operations Sean Bratches and Hard Rock Stadium vice-chairman and CEO Tom Garfinkel and received by RaceFans said the pair are “thrilled to announce that Formula 1 and Hard Rock Stadium have reached an agreement in principle to host the first-ever Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix at Hard Rock Stadium.

“Subject to the cooperation of the Miami-Dade County Commission, we expect the first race to take place in May 2021,” it added.

“With an estimated annual impact of more than [$400 million] and 35,000 room nights, the Formula 1 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. 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 glamourous regions.”

F1’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media has been trying to secure a round of the world championship in Miami since it purchased the series in 2016. It originally tried to run a race in a downtown venue near the AmericanAirlines Arena this year, but the plan was dropped following objections from local residents.

If the Miami race gains formal approval, it will be F1’s second race in the USA alongside the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, which takes place in November.

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Pictures: Artist’s impression of F1 race at Hard Rock Stadium

Planned Hard Rock Stadium F1 circuit for 2021 Miami Grand Prix
Planned Hard Rock Stadium F1 circuit for 2021 Miami Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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57 comments on “F1 claims it has agreement to race at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium in 2021”

  1. Race promoters, but also sports promoters in general, always like to throw out big numbers for the “estimated economic impact” of an event like this one to justify spending a lot of money to secure the deal, perform upgrades, etc.

    Does anyone have info as to how accurate those estimates tend to be? What were the numbers touted before COTA opened versus what does that area see for business related to race attendance?

    1. This dude is the authority on the matter.
      The short answer is that the economic benefits are massively overstated in 99% of cases.

    2. Tim Wood (@GPAmericas)
      16th October 2019, 5:45

      Originally, when Tavo Hellmund was still running the COTA project, they were projecting something like $100-120M/year in economic impact, which lines up fairly well against other well-attended GPs. Since then, though, their estimates have gone through the roof, with COTA’s website claiming $700M/year ($2.8B in the first four years the GP was held there).

      Yes, you read that right. That’s what they’re claiming. How COTA, with smaller crowds, gets several times the economic impact of GPs at Silverstone, Montreal, Mexico, etc, is a mystery to me.

      1. Interesting question. I expect there are lots of econometrics papers about assessing the economic impact of events, but I’ve never read them.

        Obviously, there are two possible options here: that the figures are heavily massaged, or that they reflect the underlying reality to some reasonable degree, and there is actually a large difference in the economic effects of different races. The former is self explanatory, while the latter is worth thinking about. Bear in mind that e.g. Man Utd make hugely more money than Burnley, so it’s quite possible.

        To some extent, the richer a place is, the higher the economic impact will be in absolute terms. Then there’s the question of how well run the race is.

        The cost to attend, per fan, and the number of fans, are going to be two of the biggest differences. Without checking, I’m quite sure it costs a lot more per head to attend Monaco than e.g. Spa. If the US GP can get a per-head spend towards the Monaco end of the scale, whilst having much larger crowds, that would explain the difference.

        My guess would be that the US GP has a lot of potential visitors from a large area of the US with no cheap alternatives, who are more likely to fly in and stay in hotels than European fans.

        1. Tim Wood (@GPAmericas)
          16th October 2019, 17:37

          That’s the thing … Spa and Monaco make very similar economic impact claims – around $100M. But somehow Austin claims 7x that amount. Attending Monaco is very expensive compared to Austin, and the crowds aren’t much smaller than Austin’s, certainly not small enough to account for the huge disparity.

          You should look below at my response to BasCB, re: the ways COTA comes up with this crazy number.

      2. I am not going to go into the numbers in detail here Timwood @gpamericas, @partsguy20, I do think it is reasonable to expect the relative impact to be larger.

        Why (some of this is already mentioned by Dave)?

        Silverstone gets a huge amount of people from the UK – and to a large extent they camp on site. In comparison, CotA counts “out of state visitors” adding every $ they spend travelling (by plane, bus or long range trip) there and staying (If I remember correctly the amounts for RVs at the track are pretty insane as well). And they often stay in more expensive places than the avereages at Silverstone are going to be.

        But really it is almost impossible to accurately measure things. Because town being full also means people who would visit don’t visit (or not in the same time) etc. And what is “extra” vs. already could be expected to be spent.

        1. Tim Wood (@GPAmericas)
          16th October 2019, 17:01

          BasCB … you’ve hit on what COTA does to inflate their Economic Impact numbers relative to other events. They do things like, as you mentioned, “adding every $ they spend travelling (by plane, bus or long range trip)”. Which is funny, because the transportation they count as an Economic Impact on the Texas economy is usually booked online through some large international airline based outside the state of Texas, and thus isn’t impacting the state of Texas. Same with the car rental fees that they claim as an Economic Impact on the State of Texas.

          They also do things like:
          – claiming huge crowds on Friday and Saturday
          – claiming that almost 80,000 people come from outside Texas (roughly 70-80% of the entire USGP crowd, even using COTA’s own attendance claims)
          – claiming that they stay an average of 4.06 days
          – claiming that they spend a whopping average of over $500 per person, per day, while they’re in Austin, etc.
          – claiming ~130,000 hotel nights are sold – compared to a small fraction of that number at other, better-attended GPs – despite the fact that hotel availability is always good here, even on race day and even when other big events happen on the same weekend.
          – inflate out of state F1 crowd numbers by adding music events that actually draw attendees who mostly come to COTA only for the concert, and almost all of whom come from the local area.
          – making their 3-day general admission wristband the cheapest ticket to see any of the concerts, and then counting every 3-day g.a. wristband sold as 3 days of race attendance, regardless of which days the bearer actually attended. They aren’t getting a count of those wristbands at the gate. The wristbands don’t even have a barcode or anything in/on them that can be scanned to be counted.

          But even then, with COTA inflating these numbers, and even with more people sleeping in tents at Silverstone, it’s hard to see how a less-attended race at COTA can generate 6 or 7 or even 10 times the economic impact as these other GPs.

          I mean $700M in Austin vs ~$100M at Silverstone, or Montreal, or Melbourne, or Monaco, or Spa, Monza, Abu Dhabi, or Mexico City?

          And somehow, according to COTA, the USGP has twice the economic impact of SXSW, which brings around 500,000 affluent visitors, gridlocking Central Austin streets and booking up all the hotel rooms for 2 weeks every year. They say the USGP has 3 times the impact of ACL, which is actually 2 separate 3-day weekend events, drawing 450,000 people-days of attendance.

          Come on. No way.

      3. There was an article in the Austin, TX newspaper about the state changing the way they calculated the economic impact of the race at COTA. The result was a lower impact and the state claimed they owed the promoters less money because they didn’t have the impact they were originally claiming. This change, not too surprisingly, coincided with a change in city administration.

        1. Tim Wood (@GPAmericas)
          16th October 2019, 22:31

          City administration has nothing to do with the calculation of COTA’s huge subsidy from the State of Texas.

    3. The reason why COTA has had such a huge economic impact is because Austin, a relatively unknown city compared to the old-Texas remnants of Dallas or the cosmopolitan sophistication of Houston has been put on the worldwide map as an ideal year-round vacation destination. There are now foreign non-stop flights there (British Airways, Lufthansa) thanks to it’s reputation as a live-music and BBQ capital skyrocketing. I cannot think of any reason why anyone would want to go to the area around Silverstone for anything other than a race- Montréal, although a great city is not an ideal place to go in any non-summer month and Mexico City is already a vast economic hub on its own terms.

  2. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
    15th October 2019, 22:17

    Oh god, please no.

  3. Congrats, Liberty! You have managed to realize your dream… bringing F1 to Miami. On a parking lot track so tedious and banal, we will remember Valencia much more fondly. Or even Vegas.

    Please release the tentative race date. That way I can ensure to mark my calendar. To watch. Something more interesting, like paint drying.

  4. hopefully local residents will save the day again $400M a year? LMAO

    not another street race..

  5. This will be, I’m sure, the flattest track, but out of curiosity, I looked up the elevation change at all the tracks.—which-f1-track-has-the-most-elevation-changes-.html

  6. Those CG images almost make me forget it’s a race in a car park.

    Not quite the “iconic destination” Liberty had in mind is it?

  7. *facepalm*

    Well done, Liberty, you did it!

    1. Don’t forget fireworks!
      And hot-dog drive-throughs right on track – to spice up the racing!

      And Stripes and Stars everywhere.
      And RGB LEDs.

      1. On the positive(?): cheerleaders

        1. No, F1 is against women, who likes to do what they do.

          We can only get some sausage-fest. We should hope they will not be in g-strings or tights…

      2. Josh (@canadianjosh)
        16th October 2019, 9:41

        If you have a hotdog drive through you’ll need to have a nice garden to please Lewis as well, he likes to eat flowers nowadays.

  8. Looks alot like Adu Dhabi….great.

  9. Good track layout. Two long straights for passing, no over complicated corners overheating tyres preventing close racing, being flat helps with that too.

    Valencia, Abu Dhabi, Russia, all have the same thing in common, very complex off camber corners that cook the tyres making the rest of the track too hard to pass on.

    As long as this track is flat like what everyone thinks would be bad, this track will be a winner.
    Besides, each track should be unique and have its own set of characteristics. If this is half on a parking lot, that provides something no other track has. And don’t compare it to Las Vegas in the 80s. Totally different track, different cars, different everything.

    I don’t get why people are already dismissing it… bit toxic.

    To me, it seems like the more Tilke tries to mimic our favourite tracks, the worse off they end up. Lets have something new and different. There should only be one Spa, one Monaco, one Monza.

    1. Lets have something new and different.

      And what does this proposal do that is new or different?

      It’s just like most of the other modern circuits. Flat, featureless with really long straights and some very slow corners with the obligatory slow/tedious section to form a stadium section.

      It’s the definition of a cookie cutter circuit.

  10. Looks like hitman 2.

    1. I was just thinking the same thing! Watch out for that guy in the flamingo suit…

  11. How do I know people designing those tracks do not follow F1?
    By seeing the 1000th iteration of a improperly designed pit exit.
    Assuming that pits are opposite to the stadium, cars leaving pits will rejoin on turns 1-2 racing line.
    At best, it would be similar to Canada, Singapore. At worst, it would require a tunnel as in Abu Dabhi.

  12. I live fifteen minutes from the stadium and even I am not thrilled by this.

  13. DIZ—ASTER in the making. They can’t even run a NFL team. There is no way they are pulling off a race. The track will be done 7 weeks after the race is supposed to be run.

  14. This ….. again….

    Let’s just resign ourselves to the fact that Liberty is determined to hold more races in the US whether they’re good or bad.

    There’s no stopping “progress” whether it be in the right direction or not as long as it fits their agenda when it comes to announcements for their shareholders.

  15. Won’t happen.

  16. I can’t stand this obsession F1 seems to have on having more street races when they are such beautiful proper race tracks especially in USA

    1. Amen Brother. The USA has so many fantastic tracks. F1 and the need to pamper themselves by making unreasonable demands on tracks misses so many great natural terrain tracks. I would go to Mid Ohio, Road Atlanta, The Glen, Laguna Seca, Elkhart Lake in a heartbeat to watch F1; but Miami, come on. Lets put it as far away in the most inaccessible spot in the entire country in a city that does not properly reflect the USA.

  17. Tim Wood (@GPAmericas)
    16th October 2019, 5:50

    35,000 annual hotel room nights? Doesn’t COTA claim something like 4x that many?

    35,000 sounds much more realistic.

    1. it almost sounds lowball! With a 3 nights weekend (or are they already counting on only 2 day weekends?) that would be only some 18k visitors staying in hotels? So the rest would be expected to be locals then?

      If that is enough for them to be viable, then wow. Not sure how they would reach that 400 million “impact” with only relatively low numbers of visitors though

      1. Tim Wood (@GPAmericas)
        16th October 2019, 17:16

        COTA figures 1.95 people per room at ~130,000 room-nights, which gives them something like 260,000 people-nights, which is, lol, just ludicrous.

        35,000 room-nights at the same rate would be about 70,000 people nights, which may be on the low side, esp given their high Economic Impact number, but it does seem more realistic than COTA’s 260,000. I seriously doubt COTA hits 260,000 through the gates for the entire weekend, much less 260,000 out of state attendees.

  18. what about bringing back the South African GP ? kyalami was just upgraded and instead of having another race in the USA and another street race, lets race on a real track.

  19. I like the layout. It looks relatively short, it has less then 21 corners. I think I see a potential overtaking spot. It sort of looks like an american street course. Yes please

    1. I like it too. I don’t understand all the negativity on this site

      1. @nickthegreek Because I think a lot of fans are tired of these flat, featureless, cookie cutter car park circuits that have zero character, are simply not enjoyable to watch cars been driven around & which for the most part drivers don’t enjoy.

        There circuits designed around checking boxes rather than actually been good, fun, challenging circuits.

  20. But why target May? The original target was October, so why wouldn’t it be OK anymore? What has changed? How would it even fit in May, given how cramped with European venues it is? If not towards the end of the championship alongside COTA and Mexico, then June alongside Montreal would be better.

    1. I’d guess that either the idea is not to be in hurricane season – I think putting it in may might be a bit of putting an event into the end of spring, before the hot summer sets in? Or maybe rather that CotA had some say in things, not wanting another race to cut into their numbers?

      How does the US sports calender look in may? That might also be a reason for them to go for an earlier date.

        16th October 2019, 20:43

        Basketball, Hockey, and Baseball are all going during May, but wont be using any facilities around Hard Rock Stadium. MAY for this venue is completely dead and a good fit. They would start using the stadium for football purposes towards the end of August. So May is a good time logistically for the stadium that would otherwise be completely unused.

      2. @bascb The Northern Hemisphere summer months aren’t any worse than spring or autumn temperature-wise. In Miami/FL, all the months are similarly warm to each other (like in Singapore/SE-Asia), so temperature-wise, there isn’t a massive swing from the coolest month of the year to the warmest.

    2. November is when Miami and the rest of Florida starts to cool down and it doesn’t rain nearly as much, so pairing it with COTA and MXC wouldn’t be the worst idea. But Miami during June or any other summer month (even May really isn’t a good time of year for a race there) is oppressively hot and humid and it rains 25 cm over the whole month, and there is a 3 in 4 chance of it raining at some point during the day. I’ve been there in summer, and I lived in Orlando for 2 years. It was 93 degrees F with 80 percent humidity and I sweated like a pig walking around South Beach for an hour. And then around 4pm it rained like hell for 15 minutes- the rain was so torrential that if rain like that hit the event, then the FIA would have to cut the event short. Remember Sepang ‘09? There was so much rain there that day that the cars simply could not operate in those conditions.

      1. @mfreire See my reply to you in today’s round-up.

  21. Looking at the map, that swooping straight on the left is the NW199th, they are going to build some fiddlybits at the end of that, go under the Florida Turnpike (stop for toll), up the NW203rd, turn back across parking lots and around the arena and back to NW199th

    On that rendering, where they’ve placed some boats on the dry land parking lot, there’s actually a Walmart Supercenter parking lot on the other side of the NW199th.

    Fantastic. Just what this sport needs.

    1. @uneedafinn2win

      You are way off, the “boats” are north of 199th, Walmart is south of 199th. I doubt they are going to use 199th anyway, it would be a big burden on the community to shut it down.

    2. @uneedafinn2win:

      go under the Florida Turnpike (stop for toll)

      Great, this is the last thing Williams need! ;-)

      16th October 2019, 15:58

      I think they’re staying just north of the 199th St. Maybe just shutting down the North lanes of 199th St. They would actuall be going under the Turnpike entrances and the back straight would be 203rd st.

      I gotta give it to old Steven Ross, He is sure as hell maximizing the Land and venue that the Dolphins have had for Decades and bringing world-class events to the Area.

  22. Pls no, F1 & Liberty. This would be come the closest race to where I live & it has no appeal to me. Even on TV. We already have a flat featureless open wheel race in FL in the spring. Indycar at Jacksonville & its a terrible circuit. Will the schedule have the circus going from Spain to Florida to Monaco to Montreal? Racing fans don’t want this. Seems silly

    16th October 2019, 15:43

    The Track layout is promising, reminds me of Valencia with some Abu Dhabi sprinkled in. The long straights in tight turns show promote some overtaking. Turn 1 & 2 have shades of Canada, Turn # is a fast sweeping turn Ala Sochi semi circle turn 4(??) Turns 4 & 5 seems like a proper high speed corners + 150 MPH on turn in. Turn 8 seems like there would be a couple of different line to take as the corner could be taken tight or wide as there is plenty of room on the outside to open up. Long sweeping straight into a tight turn 9 (stadium complex 10-13) into a 90 Degree left hand turn 14 into the back straight. That should promote some very close cars going into the hairpin turn 15 with speeds north of 200 MPH into braking zone. And turn 16 and 17 back on to the front straight. All in All seems like a very fast track with only a short stadium section that should have the average speed above 100 MPH. Only way that could have been done better is if the track enter the actual Hard Rock Stadium for a turn or two, but I would imagine watch the F1 race from the outer mezzanie levels would nab you a pretty good view of most of the track…

  24. Watkins Glen was premier for 20 years. Beautiful country in the fall. Let’s go back.

  25. A race in Miami in May is not a good idea. It will be too hot and humid and there will be a good chance of torrential rain in the afternoon… why not have it at the end of the year or as the first race of season (granting Melbourne doesn’t have that written into its contract)? Florida‘s weather in winter is pretty unpleasant in non-winter months.

    1. @mfreire See my explanation in the form of a reply to you in today’s round-up.

  26. roberto giacometti
    17th October 2019, 5:05

    Is this going to be another Ceasers Palace Car Park Grand Prix like in 1981 ??

  27. Waaay too Tilky for my taste! Track sucks.

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