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Sundial

'Races Shouldn't Be Held In A Bedroom Community': Local Leader Rejects Formula One In Miami Gardens

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CHARLES COATES
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GETTY IMAGES
Formula One will bring a series of Grand Prix races to Miami Gardens in 2021.

Miami Gardens residents have been speaking out about the Miami Dolphins’ recent agreement to host Formula One racing events at the Hard Rock Stadium starting in 2021. 

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan, who represents District 1, which includes Miami Gardens, is one of them. She says she doesn’t want to stop the race but thinks it’s not the best idea for a “bedroom community” or a more residential area. 

On Tuesday, Commissioner Jordan proposed tighter restrictions on roadway closures which would require Formula One's Grand Prix in Miami to go through Miami-Dade County authorities for approval. Also, she’s proposing that the Miami Dolphins must have a special events permit for the racing event. The hosting contract will last for 10 years. Jordan joined Sundial to discuss the concerns she’s heard from residents and how much money Formula One could bring in to the region.

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity. 

WLRN: Are you concerned? 

JORDAN: I was very much concerned because it had not been discussed with the community. Totally unexpected. When I voted for the initial resolution to bring Formula One racing to Miami, the plan was that it was coming to downtown Miami, so I had no idea that there was a backup plan. So my office started getting a lot of calls about it because, naturally, we had not had a meeting and the community had not been informed.

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Credit Miami Herald
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Miami Herald
A rendering of the proposed course for the Formula One Miami Grand Prix, which would be held annually at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

Representatives from the Dolphins and Formula One say that this could bring an economic boom to Miami Gardens. What do you think?

I think that it can be an economic boom for Miami-Dade County, but when it comes to what we are experiencing now with the Dolphins and Hurricane games, very seldom does that generate for any income boost for the city of Miami Gardens.

However, we're happy with the (Hard Rock) Stadium. They've been good business partners. I have supported the Dolphins from the very beginning. This is my 15th year in office and I have always sponsor any item that they have brought forward in terms of trying to enhance the development of the site, the remodeling and redevelopment of the stadium. I sponsored those items gladly because I do feel that they are good business partners. But this will impact my community in ways that are unimaginable.

Are you trying to stop the race?

I'm not trying to stop the race. I'm trying to at least indicate that races should not come into a bedroom community. If you look at the history of Formula One races, this is the first race in the United States that would be held in a bedroom community.

When you're talking about bedroom community, what do you mean?

I'm talking about a residential area on all four corners of the stadium. If you take a rock and throw it from the Dolphin Stadium across the street on 27th Avenue, that rock will land in Leslie Estates [neighborhood]. You're talking about four bedroom communities and a school. It's not like the Dolphin Stadium is located out in the Everglades...it's located in the middle of a four-bedroom community. 

Producer Chris Remington contributed to this report.