The Miami Grand Prix discussions are back on the table, as county commissioners have sided with the mayor’s veto of a previous shoot-down.
While a commercial agreement is in place between Formula 1 and Miami Grand Prix organisers to hold a race in 2021, there’s still plenty of hurdles to overcome before it can happen. The biggest of these hurdles, right now, is where exactly the race is to be held. After initial plans to hold the race in downtown Miami, a proposed route around the Hard Rock Stadium was released. This route included the closure of public roads in the Miami Garden area.
This was immediately met with protests from local residents in the Miami Gardens area, with public hearings heard in October. At this meeting, the Grand Prix appeared to have failed to get off the ground as it was decided by the County Commission that an order would be passed that would prevent road closures for races in residential areas of Miami Gardens – meaning that the route revealed by Miami Grand Prix event organisers two weeks ago was not permitted.
However, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giminez chose to use his mayoral veto to overrule this decision and, on Tuesday, county commissioners met in order to vote on whether to sustain this veto. In a 7-5 narrow call, the commissioners sided with the Mayor – this means discussions regarding the Grand Prix on this same proposed route are free to continue: “I want to continue the Formula One conversation, and the veto allows for the conversation to continue.”
Giminez, who has been supportive of Formula 1 coming to Miami and cited the economic impact of the race as a key factor in his support, told CBS Miami: “This race isn’t until May of 2021, let me repeat that again isn’t until May of 2021 sustaining my veto buys 3 to 6 months so that we can at least get the parties together and the parties that are involved so we can continue to work toward a solution.”
Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilvert, who has sided with the local residents in protest, simply said: “I take what the Mayor said at face value but that’s not the way that things have happened, the Dolphins announced the race track, the mayor said the race was a good thing and was gonna happen, nowhere in that was hey let’s talk about how we mitigate the concerns for sound and air pollution and traffic on the community that bears the burden so if people are really interested in compromise you shouldn’t speak in conclusions they should ask questions.”
F1 released a statement following the vote, saying: “Along with Miami Dolphins, we are encouraged the County Commission sustained the Mayor’s Veto. 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.”