The inaugural Miami Grand Prix was met with excitement in many ways. Tickets sold out quickly and the circuit around Hard Rock Stadium – especially the fake harbor – drew a lot of attention on social media. Due to this interest, Tom Garfinkel, Managing Partner of the event, expected the first edition to be profitable, but this has not been the case.
“If you had asked me half a year ago, I would certainly have expected the race weekend to bring in money, yes, even if you had seen the direction in which the income was going. In any case, the expenses far exceeded our own expectations,” explains Garfinkel, among other things Motorsport.com out of. As I said, there is no reason to panic. The organizer felt it was more important to put on a good event and hopes to reap the rewards later.
“It was particularly important to us to put on a great event. We wanted everything first class put the spotlight on Formula 1 and this event. We wanted to deliver immediately.” There is a price tag attached to it and Garfinkel emphasizes that there are also things that are not obvious to the general public. “Just take a look behind the main stand. Most races have tarmac. But if you look at our booths at the Beach Club, we would have laid out grass there. This improves the experience for fans for several reasons. On the one hand, the asphalt gets much warmer and, on the other hand, the grass looks neater. It’s expensive to arrange this pitch but again, we wanted to do it immediately and will continue to do so.”
More viewers in 2023?
However, the loss is not only related to the cost. Garfinkel emphasizes that the income could have been further increased, but that this was not done consciously. “Based on demand, we could have sold a lot more tickets. But we also wanted to do it right, for example getting people on and off the track and also in terms of crowding at facilities like the toilets. I would like to welcome 100,000 people a day, but it has to be possible in a good way. If we can do it next year, we will do it. But if we feel like it’s not possible yet, we choose to give everyone a good experience and it’s quiet to build.”
The first edition had 82,500 visitors per day. It wasn’t enough to be in the black, but the organization is counting on that for the coming years. Increasing attendance can help, as can learning from the first edition. In this respect he speaks of a successful event. “Of course there are things we can learn from and that could be improved, for example on Friday we had a problem with the food and guests from the paddock club were fine. But in general the feedback from teams, drivers, F1 and the FIA is very positive. We can learn from the fans’ feedback, but for the first time I think it went very well.
So garfinkel mainly refers to the event and the decoration. Regarding the circuit, there has been more criticism, although the organization has indicated that it is open to changes.