Dolphins won’t turn a profit at inaugural Miami F1 Grand Prix

The Miami Grand Prix was a massive undertaking for the Miami Dolphins, but it won’t make the team any money in the first year.

A few months ago, Tom Garfinkel expected the Dolphins to make a profit on the Miami Gardens run, but the expenses ended up being so big they exceeded the revenue the team will bring in, says the CEO.

“We won’t,” Garfinkel said. “Like me after year 2.”

The Dolphins and Formula 1 (F1) have a 10-year contract with Miami Gardens to keep the Miami Grand Prix (GP) on the grounds of Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins have spent the past nine months — with about 300 to 1,000 workers on site each day, Garfinkel said — converting the parking lots into a racetrack, erecting temporary grandstands and building a permanent garage paddock. All but the paddock and, of course, the new pavement will be dismantled after the event concludes on Sunday, a team spokesperson said Wednesday.

Those expenses ultimately turned the run into a long-term game for Miami’s NFL franchise.

This year, the Miami GP has limited its capacity to around 85,000 per day. Garfinkel said Wednesday that the Dolphins would like to increase capacity in future years.

“If you had asked me six months ago where the income went [I thought we would make money]”, Garfinkel said. “Depending on the direction of spending, we’re not going to make any money this year. It was important for us to deliver a great event. to do everything we could do in first class to reflect what Formula 1 is and the kind of event we wanted to deliver.

Feedback from fans in attendance was overwhelmingly positive, with premium luxury tickets available at places like the paddock club or the Hard Rock sponsored pool party, and grandstand tickets allowing all spectators to stroll through an indoor area reminiscent of a party they might be having. to see in the Miami Design District or Wynwood neighborhoods. Garfinkel said he gave FIFA officials a tour of the campus as he tried to sell Hard Rock Stadium as the venue for the 2026 World Cup, possibly building a similar type of infrastructure for an atmosphere. of carnival.

Drivers, however, spent Friday and Saturday criticizing certain aspects of the trackin particular how slippery it is – which makes overtaking difficult – and how tight the chicane is at turns 14 and 15.

Garfinkel said he was open to feedback and the track could be adjusted for 2023.

“It was a bit of a necessary evil, if you will. … It’s an area where it’s a tricky part because we really have to slow people down because we didn’t have enough clearance space,” he said. “The surface itself, we assess. We want to make sure we get it right because obviously if they can’t get off the racing line there won’t be as many overtakes and that’s not good.

“We will make whatever changes we need, if we need to, to make the track as good as possible.”

Maryland native David Wilson is the Miami Herald’s duty man for sports coverage.

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