Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has today (Friday) used his veto to overturn opposition to the planned Formula 1 race at the Hard Rock Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins. This is situated in Miami Gardens, where the local County Commissioner Barbara Jordan has led opposition to the event.
Jordan’s proposals to make things difficult for the event were passed at the end of October by the Miami-Dade County Commissioners with votes of 7-6 and 8-5. The mayor had 10 days in which to veto the decisions. He can be overruled if there are nine votes against him, but this is not the case as of today.
Gimenez said that he has had a meeting with race opponents, Jordan and Dolphins representatives and that he hopes that they will find a way to compromise so that the county can host what is a major global sporting event.
Part of the problem has been education with some wild claims by opponents of the race about the noise levels involved, which clearly are way in excess of what F1 produces today.
Since 2014 the noise of the engines has been much reduced, to such an extent that it is not unusual for F1 people to not even notice when a session has begun, because of the quieter engines.
There is also a need for the local residents to understand the benefits that come from an F1 race, which have been seen in places such as Melbourne, where F1 has acted to improve the reputation of a neighbourhood and thus raise the house prices.
There is also great potential for locals to make money by renting out properties when the races are on, as hotel prices tend to get very high when F1 goes to any city and thus fans and even F1 people turn to using private residences. The number of people who will be affected by the race is very limited.
It would be hard to find a location with fewer residents being impacted anywhere in developed southern Florida, although perhaps Homestead might be able to match such a claim.
The sad news is that it costs a great deal of money to host an F1 race and so it will either happen at the Hard Rock Stadium (which is willing to pay) or it will not happen at all.
Gimenez believes that Miami will benefit from an F1 race if the locals are reasonable and listen to the arguments put forward. If not, F1 will look elsewhere and take its many benefits to a city that will appreciate what it has to offer. Las Vegas is waiting in the wings…