Plans for a street race in downtown Miami have been scrapped over fears that a Formula 1 race would too greatly impact the local area. However, the Florida city could still host F1, with an alternative venue now being explored.
Liberty Media has made no secret of its desire to add a second race in the United States, with Austin, Texas currently the country's only F1 host at the Circuit of the Americas.
The Miami race was announced to great fanfare last year, but has been beset by local opposition, which has now seen the plans fall through.
"With over 70 percent of fans expected to come from around the globe and week-long event activation throughout Miami, the economic impact of a Formula 1 race to Miami would be along the same lines of a Super Bowl," said Tom Garfinkel, CEO of the Miami Dolphins NFL franchise, told the Miami Herald.
"We want to do something great for Miami, but unfortunately when we finally received the detailed report of what it would take to build out a street circuit each year, the multiple weeks of traffic and construction disruption to the port, Bayfront Park and the residents and businesses on Biscayne Boulevard would have been significant; which Steve [Ross, race organiser] and I felt defeated the purpose."
Although a huge blow to Liberty's plans, all is not lost. Garfinkel is also CEO of the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Dolphins, and says a race could still be held in that area of the city.
"A lot would have to happen for us to be able to do it, but we have over 250 acres of land so adding an F1 race to where Hard Rock Stadium and the Miami Open sit means we can create a world-class racing circuit that is unencumbered by existing infrastructure," he added.
"It also means better ingress and egress, better amenities, unprecedented sight-lines, and opportunities for the best hospitality anywhere in racing.
"We can still do parties and events all week downtown, at [South] Beach, and in Brickell.
"We only want to do it if we can create world-class racing, a great fan experience, and a lot of value for Miami."
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