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Miami F1 Grand Prix Decision Postponed

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In May, we reported that Miami was to vote on whether the city would host a Formula One Grand Prix in 2019, but the decision, which had originally been scheduled for July 26, has now been announced as having been delayed to at least September so the city can gather more feedback from residents.

“We want to make sure we do this right. It’s a big event,” said Emilio Gonzalez, the city manager charged by the City Commission to finalize the contract with F1 and with promoter South Florida Racing.

The original and controversial proposed circuit layout was revised to no longer go around the American Airlines basketball arena but to instead extend circumvent Bayfront Park. Unfortunately, jurisdiction continues to be one of the major hurdles to overcome in that area, which belongs separately to the park organization and includes the marina and waterfront.

This is further complicated by some of F1’s somewhat stringent requests for making the Grand Prix work. For instance, F1 asked that the city not host any major events in the vicinity of the track “for any year during the term between October 5th and November 15th” unless the Grand Prix date has already been agreed and officially approved.

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F1 also asked for “deep water yacht slips” to be reserved for its allocation in the marina and for marina patrols to help prohibit people from anchoring in the area immediately to the east of the event.

The contract, which is now on the public record, would run from 2019 to 2028, though there’s still a strong chance the race will not take place at all. For instance, Sam Dubbin, an attorney representing 11 local residents, filed a cease and desist letter asking the city to stop negotiating with F1. When the city commissioners finally votes on the race, four out of the five will have to be in favor.

Nonetheless, a Fan Festival akin to the event that took place in London is planned to take place annually sometime between October 17 and October 21 to help generate interest in the sport.

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