Formula 1 officials have finally confirmed its desire to run a race on the streets of Miami, with the proposal going before the Miami City Commission on May 10 to direct the city manager to formalize a contract to hold a Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix between 2019 and 2028. It would be the fourth in North America, joining races in Canada and Mexico City.
The proposal is sponsored by Miami mayor Francis Suarez, along with Willy Gort, Frank Carollo and Manolo Reyes - three of the five city commissioners.
"This is an annual Super Bowl of sorts".
Texas now hosts the only U.S. race on the calendar but commercial rights holders Liberty Media, who took over the sport in January previous year, want to grow Formula One in what they see as a key market. Liberty is pushing for ways to expand F1's reach, including the possibility of adding new races in Asia, and a soon-to-launch live streaming service.
"Miami is a first-class global city and Formula One is a first-class global brand", said U.S. entrepreneur and Miami Dolphins NFL franchise owner Stephen Ross, who is supporting the Miami project.
Ross helped lead the plan to relocate the Miami Open tennis tournament from Key Biscayne to the Dolphins' stadium complex in Miami Gardens, a move that will be enacted in time for next year's tournament.
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Should the Miami Grand Prix push on, it would be the second Formula 1 race in the country and also mark the first time that a street circuit will be held in the United States since 1991.
The F1 plan also comes while a group led by soccer icon David Beckham tries to bring an MLS franchise back to the Miami area. The US was barred from the F1 extravaganza from 2008 until 2012.
However, a Miami street race would be the first F1 street race in the U.S. since 1991.
Miami has always been talked about as a possible venue, along with Las Vegas and Los Angeles, although there could be some local opposition to street closures and noise.
The paperwork also reveals that the race will be promoted by a company affiliated with billionaire businessman Stephen M. Ross and will be known as the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix.
"We have been very clear from probably the day we came in about our goals and ambitions to grow the sport in the USA, and grow the sport also in Asia", he said.