Miami will join the Formula One race calendar for a ten year term from 2019 through to 2028, snaring a spot alongside Austin Texas as the only US city to host the global motorsports spectacular.
The proposed 2.57-mile (4.13km) circuit will wend through downtown, around the American Airlines Arena, and across the Port Boulevard bridge above Biscayne Bay, affording high-rises along Biscayne Boulevard some of the best views – while yachters along Miamarina will no doubt hold some of the best parties.
The first race is slated for October 2019, aligning with timing of the Grand Prix races in Austin and Mexico City.
“My dad was mayor," reflects current Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, "and he has this really cool picture of him and my mom and me in the middle in the Pace Car of the Miami Grand Prix back in the 1980s. It was a Jaguar convertible, and I’ll never forget that. Now, my son is four, and I have a chance to repeat that moment."
The F1 presents a serious economic opportunity to host locations, given its 500 million global fans and 21 races across five continents, broadcast to 1.8 billion viewers and 15 million followers on social media.
Currently, the only U.S. race takes place in Austin; it delivered US$2.8 billion of benefits from 2012 to 2015 and generated more than 200,000 visitors during race weekends, according to data provided to the Commission by F1. In Miami, those numbers should only grow.
“This is the best news I’ve heard all year,” said Aronia Harris, a partner at Miami Exotic Auto Racing. “It will bring hundreds of thousands of race fans and car enthusiasts.”
Harris expects a slew of fans to find their way to nearby Homestead Miami Speedway, where the US$1,400 VIP experience puts drivers behind the wheels of five exotic racers, including the 562-horsepower McLaren 570S, which can hit 204 miles per hour.
For those who wish to activate their inner track stars, the Andretti Racing Experience offers a US$1,900 World Champion package, with nearly an hour of racing time, in a full-size Indy car.