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Formula One is coming to Miami Gardens beginning in 2022. Here is what you need to know

Miami Herald logo Miami Herald 4/18/2021 Adam H. Beasley, The Miami Herald

Apr. 18—Formula One racing is officially coming to South Florida.

The open-wheel circuit announced Sunday that the Miami Grand Prix, beginning in 2022, will be a part of its yearly schedule — a major triumph for Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, Tom Garfinkel and their staff after years of setbacks.

The deal is for 10 years. A date for the 2022 race will be revealed in the future, but the expectation is it will be next May or June.

Sunday's announcement comes on the heels of a Miami Gardens city council vote regarding F-1's incentive package designed to benefit residents and businesses.

"We are thrilled to announce that Formula 1 will be racing in Miami beginning in 2022," Stefano Domenicali, president and CEO of Formula One, said in a statement. "The U.S. is a key growth market for us, and we are greatly encouraged by our growing reach in the US which will be further supported by this exciting second race. We will be working closely with the team from Hard Rock Stadium and the FIA to ensure the circuit delivers sensational racing but also leaves a positive and lasting contribution for the people in the local community."

"We are grateful to our fans, the Miami Gardens elected officials and the local tourism industry for their patience and support throughout this process. We are looking forward to bringing the greatest racing spectacle on the planet to Miami for the first time in our sport's history."

Added Garfinkel, who in addition to acting as Dolphins CEO is the managing partner of the Miami Grand Prix:

"The Hard Rock stadium entertainment campus in Miami Gardens exists to host the biggest global events to benefit the entire greater Miami region and Formula One racing is as big as it gets. We have worked with specialist designers to create a racetrack that we, Formula One and the FIA believe will provide great racing and we hope to create best-in-class unique fan experiences that are reflective of the diverse and dynamic nature of Miami."

"I want to thank Formula One and the Miami Gardens and Miami-Dade County elected officials for working to bring this hugely impactful event here for years to come."

A 3.4-mile track will be built on and near Hard Rock Stadium property. It will have 19 corners, three straights and allow for an estimated top speed of nearly 200 miles per hour.


Video: Miami to host F1 race in 2022 (Reuters)

Miami Gardens becomes the 11th U.S. F-1 location since the World Championship began in 1950. Ross and Garfinkel have for years been trying to facilitate a South Florida stop on the schedule, first unsuccessfully in downtown Miami before shifting their focus to Miami Gardens.

They were met with resistance by residents and some of their elected officials, but ended the impasse by agreeing to $5 million community benefit package in recent days.

More than 25 people gathered Wednesday outside Miami Gardens City Hall to protest the resolution before it passed by a 5-2 vote. The proposed memorandum of understanding included a $5 million commitment to the city, the creation of a STEM program and a host of other conditions that race organizers would have to follow.

Said former Miami-Dade commissioner Betty Ferguson on Wednesday, "For this resolution to come up out of the clear blue, without the residents being aware of it ... [it's] pretending like they are addressing our concerns [but] it's just not true," Ferguson said. "So we want them to know that."

Protest signs calling for Ross to "take your knee off our health, quality of life [and] safe environment" and boldly proclaiming "we choose children over greed" lined the intersection of Northwest 185th Terrace and 27th Avenue in front of City Hall.

"Mr. Steve Ross may have all the money in the world," former Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara Jordan said prior to Wednesday's meeting, "but as much as he values what he has, I value my house and my community."

Converting a football complex into a racetrack becomes the latest of several massive projects at Hard Rock Stadium. In the past decade, Ross has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to modernize his privately owned stadium, create a tennis complex and build a new training facility for his football team.

That investment has been rewarded with a Super Bowl, a college football national championship game, the Miami Open and top-level soccer matches. Hard Rock is also in the running host 2026 World Cup games — potentially even the championship match.

Organizers say F-1's economic impact on South Florida will be in the hundreds of millions.

The Miami Grand Prix becomes the second U.S. stop on F-1's schedule, joining the Austin race held in October.

Domenicali told reporters Sunday that F-1 wants to keep the two races apart on the calendar, in an attempt to generate domestic interest in the series. Formula One races draw more than 80 million viewers globally.

"It's always interesting to go to a new place where we've never driven before and Miami is a great city," said F-1 driver Max Verstappen. "I'm sure if they build a good track, we can have a lot of fun out there and hopefully we'll bring a lot of excitement so the fans can of course enjoy the race. I'm always happy to be in America, it gives you that kind of feeling that anything is possible, so I'm just excited to go there."

Miami Herald staff writer C. Isaiah Smalls II contributed to this report.

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