Miami targets 100,000 daily capacity to meet demand

Miami Grand Prix organizers want to be able to host 100,000 fans per day at the race in future, but will take their time to hit that number despite high demand.

This year was the third edition of the race and saw the highest attendance so far, with 275,000 fans heading to the Miami International Autodrome over the race weekend. While Sunday was a sell-out, daily capacity still sits around 92,000 and the race’s managing partner Tom Garfinkel says that’s a figure he wants to build on without negatively impacting the fan experience.

“We’re still kind of trying to limit capacity a bit to make sure we can deliver the experience,” Garfinkel said. “I think if we put 125,000 people a day in here then traffic would get worse and concessions and bathrooms and everything would get worse.


“But we did design [for growth]. The pedestrian bridges, for example, in year one they were all temporary, and in year two we actually bought all these bridges. They stay up all year, even during football in the parking lots, and they’re twice as wide.

“So we purchased the bridges with the idea that we can grow capacity in the future and still have the bandwidth to get people across easily and safely and without bottlenecks. I think they might be the widest bridges anywhere — they are all literally twice as wide as standard. So we anticipate to grow the attendance in future.

“But right now we’re still trying to just, year three, let’s make sure we delivering this great experience, hopefully, and let’s grow it slowly. Eventually we’d definitely like to be over 100,000 a day. It’s just going to be a matter of monitoring how well we’re delivering that experience. If we can continue to do that as we add 5,000 here and 5,000 there, if we feel like we’re pushing the envelope we’ll cap it out at that.”

Garfinkel believes there is still plenty of room for growth for all of the American races on the Formula 1 calendar — as recent figures have shown — because each one provides different ways of appealing to fans.

“Miami, Austin and Las Vegas are all three very different cities with three very different cultures,” he said. “We’re trying to be uniquely Miami here, and Vegas does what Vegas does, and Austin does what Austin does. I think those differences are all positive because it means fans can choose which one they enjoy the most, or choose to go to all three and have different experiences at all three.

“We’re just trying to do what we do here and be Miami — try to do things a little differently and do some things that are fun, across a spectrum from people that are spending $150 a day for a campus pass to people that might spend $15,000 a day for a really high-end, luxury experience. So as long as we keep doing that, we keep focusing on ourselves and try to make it better.”

Story originally appeared on Racer