Miami GP gets a boost as veto is upheld

The Miami-Dade County’s hopes of hosting the Miami GP has received another shot in the arm as a commission sided with the mayor and supported his decision to veto legislation that bans the use of public roads for high-speed racing.

Formula 1 hopes to add a second race in the United States to the 2021 calendar with a street race around the Hard Rock Stadium the preferred option.

However, the plans have been hit with fierce opposition from locals as well as environmentalists and in late October legislation that bans the street closures needed in Miami Gardens was passed.

But that was not the end of the matter as Mayor Carlos Gimenez vetoed that decision in early November as he felt more time was needed to come up with a new deal that would work for all parties.

It was then left to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners to vote on the matter on Tuesday and they backed Gimenez as they voted 7:5 in his favour.

Gimenez took to Twitter to say that it is a “win-win” for everyone involved as the “veto buys three to six months so that the parties involved can continue to work toward a solution for #MiamiGardens”.

He continued: “Formula1 is a huge international event. Like the Super Bowl, it puts Miami-Dade on the world stage. We need to continue to study the issues raised and get the correct information, instead of just killing this idea outright.”

Hard Rock Stadium CEO and vice-chairman Tom Garfinkel was naturally pleased with the outcome of the latest vote.

“Along with F1 we are encouraged [that] the County Commission sustained the mayor’s veto,” he said. “As we have done for all our events at Hard Rock Stadium, and has F1 has done in every city that hosts a race, we will continue to work with the mayor and the community to make an F1 Miami Grand Prix a huge success for Miami-Dade County; including the residents of Miami Gardens.

“We will work very hard to address community concerns in a meaningful way, mitigate any inconveniences or disruptions to local residents, and create an event we can all be proud of.”

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Miami GP hopes revived as Mayor's veto is upheld

Formula 1’s hopes of bringing Grand Prix racing to Miami were revived today when commissioners from Miami-Dade County backed a recent Mayoral veto that opposed a ban on racing on the streets of Miami Gardens.

The 7-5 decision puts to rest, at least in the short term, a raging debate between representatives and residents of Miami Gardens, who oppose the Miami GP project, and the event’s promoter, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

The venue for the planned race takes place in the vicinity of the Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium and would use part of Miami Gardens’ public roads.

On Twitter, Mayor Carlos Gimenez said that sustaining his veto would buy organisers more time to work out their differences with opposing parties.

“We need more time to work out a compromise with the Miami Dolphins, the Miami Gardens community and racing fans that’s a win-win for everyone to bring Formula 1 to our county,” Gimenez wrote.

“That’s why I’m happy that the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners sustained my veto. This allows us to work toward a solution.

“F1 is a huge international event,” he added. “Like the Super Bowl, it puts Miami-Dade on the world stage.

“We need to continue to study the issues raised and get the correct information, instead of just killing this idea outright.

“Let me be clear, if the veto had been overridden today then the resolution that says street racing is prohibited as currently configured in Miami Gardens would’ve been upheld. I support all parties coming to a solution that brings F1 racing to Miami-Dade.

“The F1 race isn’t until 2021. Sustaining my veto buys three to six months so that the parties involved can continue to work toward a solution for Miami Gardens, Stephen Ross and the Miami Dolphins, as well as racing fans.

“I’ve had three meetings so far with Miami Gardens residents about F1. I’ve met with Commissioner Jordan, as well as Miami Dolphins and racing executives. It was productive.

“The Dolphins agreed to respond within two weeks on community concerns and how to mitigate potential issues.”

Hard Rock Stadium CEO and vice chairman Tom Garfinkel committed to addressing the concerns of Miami Gardens’ residents.

“Along with Miami Dolphins, we are encouraged the County Commission sustained the Mayor’s Veto,” he said.

“As Miami Dolphins has done for all its events at Hard Rock Stadium, and as we have done in every city that hosts a race, we will continue to work with the Mayor and the community to make a Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix a huge success for all of Miami-Dade County; including the residents of Miami Gardens.

“We will work very hard to address community concerns in a meaningful way, mitigate any inconveniences or disruptions to local residents, and create an event we can all be proud of.”

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Residents determined to stop Miami Grand Prix

Local residents remain determined to block the proposed F1 race around the streets of Miami.

Liberty Media and the Hard Rock Stadium – the home of the Miami Dolphins, have struck a deal to host a race in 2021 on the Dolphins’ property located in Miami Gardens.

But, just like with previous attempts to host a Miami GP around Miami’s Bayfront Park area, the new proposal has been met with fierce opposition from locals.

At a meeting of the Miami Gardens City Council on Wednesday, Miami Gardens Vice-Mayor Erhabor Ighodaro said, as quoted by the Bradenton Herald: “As a matter of good public policy and civic engagement, I would have expected that, for a project as monumental as this, there should have been better communication and coordination between community groups, elected officials and, most importantly, our residents.”

County Commissioner Barbara Jordan echoed that, saying: “There comes a time when you have to take a stand when you feel that something is not right.”

The Dolphins have a legal right to host racing events at the stadium site as part of an agreement with Miami-Dade County, but former county commissioner Betty T. Ferguson stressed that it’s the residents of Miami Gardens that will suffer the consequences of the race.

“The bedroom community of Miami Gardens is no place for a race that no one else wants,” she explained.

“People will go back to their nice, clean communities with their money in their pockets.”

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