Local opposition delays Miami Grand Prix talks

A key discussion on the proposed Miami Grand Prix has been pushed back to August to allow the city to gather more feedback from downtown residents.

The City Commission set aside a discussion on July 26 on Miami's 10-year deal to host a Formula One race, which it has been negotiating since a successful vote in May. The meeting was set to include a request for public funding from Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature, despite previous suggestions the entire race would be privately funded -- Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has played a key role in securing the deal with F1.

However, the meeting will now take place after the City Commission's August recess after local oppostion. According to the Miami Herald, local groups have raised concerns about potential road closures, traffic problems and the noise that the race and support events could create. Residents are also seeking clarification on the impact on local businesses in the areas earmarked to be set aside as race track for the weekend.

City Manager Emilio Gonzalez told the Herald the delay would not derail plans to hold the first Miami race in 2019.

The original agenda had revealed a revised track layout to the proposed circuit, removing the controversial portion of the track which went through a waterfront park area around the American Airlines Arena. This layout is still subject to change.

The agreement the commissioners were set to vote on also stated that the race would take place between October 5 and November 15 every year, with an option for a further 10-year extension which would have to be activated by mid-2026.

There will also be an annual Fan Fest in the build-up to each event -- this year the city will hold one between October 17-21.