Miami Dolphins look to bring Formula One racing to Miami Gardens
Some residents not happy about team's plans
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins are making their case to bring Formula One racing to Miami Gardens.
Some residents are hoping to pump the brakes on the idea, though.
The two sides clashed at a meeting held Tuesday night.
More than 100 people packed into the auditorium at Miami Norland Senior High School for the community meeting, hosted by Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan.
Most residents who attended the meeting were overwhelmingly against hosting the race, with some saying they felt like they were being railroaded due to the fact that a similar push to bring the same style of racing to downtown Miami failed earlier this year.
The Dolphins don't actually need the community's approval to host the race. A longstanding contract is in place that basically allows the Dolphins to host any event they like.
However, the team is trying to be a good neighbor by addressing many of the concerns that residents are raising.
"When you're talking about an annual economic impact equivalent and greater to that of the Super Bowl every year, I think that is a huge benefit for the community and something we should all work hard for," Marcus Bach-Armas, senior director for legal and government affairs for the Dolphins, told Local 10 News.
According to the Dolphins, most of the race track would be on stadium property, except a roughly half-mile stretch on Northwest 199th Street, which would be temporarily closed to regular traffic.
That's the only aspect of hosting the event for which the Dolphins would need to obtain a permit.
The team would also have to submit a traffic plan.
Team officials are comparing it to a Super Bowl, estimating $423 million in total visitor spending, 35,000 hotel rooms sold and nearly 200,000 people attending the race, whereas Hard Rock Stadium can only hold about 65,000 fans for a football game.
"It's very difficult for me to get past the fact that you are talking about a Formula One race in the middle of a bedroom community," activisit and former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Ferguson said. "That does not make sense to me."
Jordan said any talk of a race in Miami Gardens is not a done deal.
"I think the negatives outweigh the positives," she said.
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