MIAMI, Oct 30 ― Proposals to bring Formula One racing to Miami hit a speed bump yesterday after local officials voted in favour of two measures which potentially complicate plans to stage a race in the Florida city.
After a hearing lasting several hours, the Miami-Dade County Commission gave backing to resolutions which sought to put the brakes on Formula One’s ambitions in Miami.
Formula One is hoping to stage a race on a temporary track surrounding the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins NFL team, in Miami Gardens, on the northern outskirts of the city.
However, the plans have run into opposition from protesters who have complained they will cause pollution and impact the quality of life of local residents.
The two resolutions passed by members of the Miami-Dade County Commission yesterday both concerned road closures.
One item prohibits road closures near residential neighbourhoods in Miami Gardens, meaning the proposed route of the race would need to be changed.
The second resolution said a public hearing would need to be held before any Formula One race in Miami Gardens got formal approval.
However, both resolutions would need to obtain approval from Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who has the power to veto them.
Gimenez has been a vocal supporter of Formula One’s bid to stage an event in Miami, pointing to the economic and business windfall it would bring.
“It’s a world class event, like having a Super Bowl here in Miami Dade County every year,” said Gimenez.
Miami Gardens mayor Oliver Gilbert spoke out against the Formula One plans at yesterday’s hearing.
“We forget that there’s a whole community of people who will be impacted by this,” Gilbert said. “I’m not against events at the stadium. But let’s be clear ― all events are not equal and all events are not welcome.”
Formula One chiefs said earlier this month the planned race in Miami, targeted for 2021, would generate more than $400 million in revenue. ― AFP