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Miami-Dade Lawmakers For And Against Noisy Race At Hard Rock Stadium

Formula One racing could be coming to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens by 2021.

Formula One wants to hold races at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Under the plan, the first race would be held in 2021 and every year after that for a decade.

Some officials, like Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara Jordan, have been fighting the proposal. She represents that area and has proposed a resolution that would make it harder to bring the races to the stadium.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued a veto on Jordan’s resolution earlier this month. Commissioners will vote Tuesday on possibly overriding the veto.

WLRN’s Luis Hernandez spoke with Jordan and Gimenez about their positions for and against holding the noisy race in Miami Gardens.

Here's an excerpt of their conversation:

(Producer note: Gimenez and Jordan were interviewed at separate times.)

LUIS HERNANDEZ: Commissioner, you've said you don't want to stop the race from coming to Miami Dade County. Are there other sites that you would want to see the race?

COMMISSIONER BARBARA JORDAN: We suggested a meeting with Homestead Speedway. The meeting included representatives from Homestead Speedway, Formula 1 – the Dolphins conveniently were not there – and the mayor. And in that meeting, after going through the explanation of what occurs at Homestead Speedway, the fact that the track is oval, but they have an inside track that is Formula One-situated in terms of the design. The mayor had to admit that it was a viable alternative.

It was also brought out at the meeting that if the ownership of the Dolphins wanted to own a race that would be put on by Formula 1, they could make the necessary improvements. And instead of spending the money for 10 years each year getting the Dolphins stadium ready again, just spend it one time at Homestead Speedway and it would cost less.

MAYOR CARLOS GIMENEZ: We do need is more time to negotiate between the Hard Rock Stadium and the community so that we can bring this great world-class event to Miami-Dade and still take into consideration the concerns of the neighborhood and the residents around the neighborhood. And so that's the reason I vetoed this resolution, which basically almost kills [the race] outright.

HERNANDEZ: Commissioner Jordan has suggested that the race could be held somewhere else, like the Homestead Speedway. Is that on the table?

GIMENEZ: We had a meeting about the Homestead Speedway and we received a letter from Formula 1 saying that they had looked at Homestead Speedway. It's not viable for them. The investment would be something north of $200 million. And that for them, they had tried to put it in downtown Miami. That didn't work out. And the last place in South Florida for them would be the Hard Rock Stadium.

HERNANDEZ: Some folks in Miami Gardens are saying that they're worried about the noise.

GIMENEZ: We're getting some scientific studies made, and consultants are going to be presenting their facts about the noise levels. Some of the things that were said that, if you're exposed to some of this noise for 8 seconds, that you're going to have permanent hearing loss. I find that very hard to believe because these races are being held all around the world. We're not getting those kind of complaints from the people that are listening to and are around these races. Many of these races happen inside cities, inside local roads.

This interview has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.