Where some circuits struggle to run top events at the track during the season, the Miami GP makes smart use of its newly built F1 facilities. For example, during an American Football game of the Miami Dolphins, the pit boxes and paddock club facilities are used for the so-called "tailgating" in which fans go barbecuing with each other prior to the game. In this way, the facilities are used all year round, thus creating an additional revenue model with the arrival of Formula One in Miami.
The game, of course, is played at the famous Hard Rock Stadium, which is used during F1 weekend for Formula One teams' hospitalities. An ideal picture of efficiency and crossover of two sports has thus been created.
"We are proud of what we have established over the past two years as the organization of the race," Tom Garfinkel (CEO of the Dolphins and Managing partner of the Miami GP) let it be known to RacingNews365 and others. "Looking at the first edition in 2022, it was especially nice to see how we managed in just 11 months. In 2023, we had more experience and were able to improve the event in the details even more. That is why we are also looking forward to making some minor improvements to the Grand Prix again in 2024."
"For example, we have now launched new tickets for next season, where fans can sit in a different grandstand every day. We are not the first GP to do this, but it is a nice idea to make the F1 experience even better for fans. We will also soon be able to clarify more about the support classes that will run during the 2024 race weekend. After all, we want to have more rubber on the track and offer even more racing action to the fans. That is something we are looking forward to and in addition we will make small changes, but no there will be no major changes towards the 2024 GP."
Paddock at the Hard Rock Stadium
It was a spectacular sight when the paddock opened at Hard Rock Stadium during the 2023 Miami GP. A change that was very well received by the F1 teams. "It was very successful to build the paddock on the Miami Dolphins field. The teams enjoyed it, partly because they also had their own kitchen facilities. We will see the paddock back at Hard Rock Stadium in future years then as well. We also want to make some more campus tickets available so that even more fans can enjoy the unique experience during the Miami GP. Overall, we are also slowly growing more tickets. Next year, I think we can get around 90,000 to 95,000 people per day. We want to gradually welcome more people at the same time, but the most important thing is that we can give all the people a fantastic experience. That's why we want to grow step by step," Tom Garfinkel.
That did happen at the 2023 Grand Prix when the organization decided to opt for a big change from the first GP in 2022. "This year everything looked operationally perfect after we decided to build the paddock in the stadium and build the the new paddock club building."
The president of the Miami track and also an experienced motorsports organizer, Tyler Epp also sees the benefit of having support classes during the F1 weekend, "The support events put more rubber on the track and that has a positive impact for the F1 drivers coming onto the track afterwards. When we look at what classes will be running in the future, I think we can rule out NASCAR. Technically, it is very difficult to have both NASCAR and F1 racing during the same weekend. There are a lot of other possibilities though and so we also hope to announce soon to the fans which classes will be in action here next year."
Surrounding the stadium and also in Miami itself, it is interesting to see that Formula One has become a lot better known. Even during a non-race weekend, you see ads of Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez or Fernando Alonso everywhere. It is clear that F1 has made a big move in the United States, and according to Garfinkel, F1 is not likely to lose popularity in the U.S. any time soon either.
"It is very interesting to see that especially a lot of young people in America watch Formula 1. I am talking about people between the ages of 18 and 25 who are really interested in the sport and not just because we are now hosting the Miami GP here. They follow the sport the whole season. They were already watching Drive to Survive before the Grand Prix was organized here. Because it is mostly the young people who watch Formula One in America, I think that is very positive for the future of Formula One in America. Therefore, I expect Formula One's popularity growth to continue in America."
"I think that is very positive for the future of Formula One in America.
"I mean, I think five or 10 years ago the average sports fan in America couldn't even name three F1 drivers. Now I think they can name five and also tell you who their favorite driver is," Garfinkel said with a big smile on his face.
A few months after the Miami GP, it became clear that the popularity of F1 in America was also reflected financially. Indeed, a study found that the city earned nearly a half billion from additional expenses incurred during the Miami GP. "When you look at the race from an economic standpoint, it's like hosting the SuperBowl every year in the city. The race also comes at a good time in the city in that in May, for example, the hotels would not normally be as full as they are now during the GP weekend. For example, compared to the SuperBowl that always takes place in February, it is an even better time. In fact, in February the hotels here in Miami are always full already, even without an event."
"So it gives a good financial impact every year and in addition, it is nice to see that we also contribute to the Miami Gardens(The area where the race is run). We work a lot with the people who live in this area and the race also gives a lot to this area and that is very nice to see."
Article continues below the photos below, showing how the F1 facilities are used during an NLF match of the Dolphins.
A good summary of the Miami GP is that it is ahead in sustainability in that the organization tries in every way to benefit from hosting the Grand Prix throughout the year. Something that comes from experience with the Dolphins and the NLF organization, an organization that is considered the largest sports organization in America. It is not for nothing, then, that Formula One is in close contact with the NFL.
"It's nice to see the correlations between the NLF and Formula 1. Just look at how fast our players are from the Miami Dolphins, they are in the ranks of fastest players in the entire NFL and so it's a nice similarity of speed with Formula 1," Garfinkel laughed proudly about his Dolphins players. "I'd love to see more cooperation between Formula 1 and the NFL. After all, the NFL in particular is growing internationally, so I think co-promotion with Formula 1 will help with that. With the NFL being the biggest sport in America and Formula 1 just wanting to grow in the U.S., I think the two sides can definitely help each other."
"Of course, for ourselves, the Dolphins remains our core business, but we have made a big investment to host Formula 1, so that is a very important business for us. In addition, we also host an international tennis event and so I would say those are our three biggest markets," said Garfinkel, who then watched his speedy Dolphins players record their fifth win of the season.
Miami GP night race
"We have indeed had some conversations about the possibility of a night race, and who knows, maybe there could be one in the future. For now, however, that is not yet the case. We really have to sit down to make that possible, because there is a lot involved in organizing a night race. In 2024, at least, it won't happen, and we don't yet have an idea of when exactly we would like to have it. So there are no concrete plans for it yet. Well, next year the race will probably start half an hour later. That's not a big change but we think it will be a positive adjustment for the fans. It will be a little less hot and you want to keep people on the track as long as possible because there is so much to do here," Tom Garfinkel said.