Hard Rock Stadium, F1 reach deal to bring race to South Florida

Grand prix still needs approval from Miami-Dade County

By Jeff Tavss - Executive Producer

MIAMI - The speed limit near Hard Rock Stadium will be raised significantly after an agreement was reached to bring a Formula One race to South Florida.

But auto racing fans should pump the brakes before getting too excited about seeing the red lights go out to start the proposed 2021 grand prix.

Miami-Dade County commissioners must approve the race against heavy opposition from Miami Gardens residents. 

"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." said Miami Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel and F1s Sean Bratches in a joint statement. "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 glamorous regions."

Those who oppose the race have held meetings and protests to voice their displeasure at being inconvenienced with traffic and noise leading up to and during race week.

"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," activist and former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Ferguson said at a September meeting. "That does not make sense to me."

While the race would mostly take part on stadium grounds, a half-mile stretch of the course would include Northwest 199th Street. The road would need to be temporarily closed to regular traffic for an undetermined amount of time.

Hard Rock Stadium would be a compromise location for the race after original plans to hold it in downtown Miami were stymied by residents with similar complaints to those in Miami Gardens.

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