Miami Gardens residents file lawsuit against Formula 1, Hard Rock Stadium

Efforts to put breaks on 2021 Miami Grand Prix continue

This is a rendering of the Formula 1 race track that will be built outside Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
This is a rendering of the Formula 1 race track that will be built outside Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. (Formula 1)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – A group of Miami Gardens residents filed a lawsuit against the Formula One Group and the Hard Rock Stadium, which recently hosted Super Bowl LIV, in an effort to stop the 2021 Miami Grand Prix, which organizers claim could have a $400 million impact annually.

Representatives of the plaintiffs, who include members of three homeowners associations and former Miami-Dade Commissioner Betty Ferguson, said on Thursday that the F1 race will be “unreasonably” loud and will violate noise ordinances in the county and the city.

Palm trees sway outside Hard Rock Stadium the day after Super Bowl LIV, Feb. 3, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Florida. (WPLG)

Sam Dubbin, a Coral Gables attorney who represents the plaintiffs, released a statement saying he could not find an expert in the acoustical field “who would say that decibel levels between 70 and 90 are reasonable" for a residential neighborhood.

“It is important for us to let our young people know that we are standing up, not just for us, but for them," Ferguson said in a statement, adding that “the power of the people is greater than the people in power."

Former Formula One driver David Coulthard performs smoking series of donuts atop Miami skyscraper's helipad to promote this weekend's Grand Prix and Formula 1 Fan Festival in Miami. Courtezy of ZMPR

According to The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, or FIA, which regulates F1 races, the volume of the V6 source is 134 decibels, the V8 source is 145 decibels and the 2014 Grand Prix held at the Circuit of the Americas track averaged at 93.8 decibels.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan voted in her district shortly after the polls opened.

Commissioner Barbara Jordan and Rev. Carl Johnson, of the 93rd Street Community Baptist Church, said they support the plaintiffs’ effort.

“I do have a problem with Formula One coming to Miami Gardens if the residents oppose it,” Johnson said.

Jordan said holding the F1 race in the area is an “environmental injustice." F1 original plans to hold the race in the PortMiami and downtown Miami area met heavy opposition.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, who is running for Congress in November, tweeted Wednesday the Miami Dolphins commissioned an acoustical impact study measuring “maximum sound levels" inside the nearest homes during race times.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, left, toasts, former head coach Don Shula, during a half time celebrating the 1972 undefeated team during at an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla.To the right is CEO Tom Garfinkel. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Miami Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel has said he wants the event to benefit everyone in the region, including Miami Gardens residents, and the private investment on a $40 million race track has the support of F1 fans, elected officials and the local tourism industry.

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