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What Miami offers that F1's traditional venues can't

Miami Grand Prix boss Tom Garfinkel believes the F1 calendar can balance "event" Grands Prix like Miami with its more traditional racing venues.

Miami Grand Prix Managing Partner Tom Garfinkel believes the Formula 1 calendar can balance having "traditional" Grand Prix racing venues as well as "event" style weekends like the inaugural weekend at the Miami International Autodrome. With F1 pushing hard in the expanding United States market, this weekend marks the arrival of the sport on the east coast of the US as Miami plays host to the first of two races in the country – Texas' Circuit of the Americas is the second venue when F1 heads west later in the season. With a host of parties and stage performances by DJs and singers planned throughout the weekend as part of the festivities, a "beach club" - branded as part of the Hard Rock Stadium complex - has also been constructed to allow some ticket-holders a unique place to unwind and watch the action. Given the very different vibe and approach to some of the more traditional race venues, Garfinkel believes that it's possible for F1 to find a way to balance its history with a more contemporary approach. "I think there's definitely room for [the] traditional race [or] race only. This is Miami. Everywhere is different," he told media, including RacingNews365.com . "I think there are some very historic race tracks with some very historic racing, and those places are sacred. They don't need to change necessarily; I mean, some of the things could change! I don't know that they need to have a beach club, you know? "For me, regardless of where you go, it should be about the racing first. What you build around it can be different based on what market you're in and what the track offers."

Garfinkel hopeful of building tradition in Miami

With the Miami Grand Prix attempting to take on the aesthetic of the glamorous Monaco Grand Prix, including the construction of a fake marina with land-locked boats in place, Garfinkel believes that the two races are still very different events. "Yeah, absolutely, it's different," he commented. "It's historic, it's traditional in the streets of Monaco. Monaco is a very unique, beautiful place. There's a tradition of racing there. "This is our inaugural event, so we hope - if the racing is great - to create a tradition here for years to come, that it's a great place to come race. "Everything around it is we're trying to make it fun and have great experiences, but it's always going to have to be about the racing first."

Why has ticket supply been kept low?

The Miami event has taken a unique approach to how to hold a Grand Prix weekend by curtailing the number of tickets available to fans. Ostensibly, this has been with the aim of ensuring services and infrastructure aren't overwhelmed during the inaugural weekend, but has had the side-effect of ensuring sky-high ticket pricing. "We deliberately kept the ticket count lower than the demand," Garfinkel explained. "I think it was really about trying to make sure we could get everybody in and out of here easily. "Concessions, bathrooms... I want everybody have a great experience. I don't want them to be stuck in traffic for three hours, waiting in line and concessions for 20 minutes. "I want them to come, say it was a great event, 'I got in and out easily. I didn't have to wait in line at the bathroom, everything was clean. I was happy'. "We're going to start there, and we'll grow from there. I definitely expect this to grow in the future. But we'll do it as we feel we can continue to provide that kind of experience for people and continue to grow."

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