July 19, 2018 / 10:09 AM / 2 months ago

Miami delays decision on Formula One race

(Reuters) - Miami city authorities have delayed a decision on hosting a Formula One race in the face of local opposition.

FILE PHOTO: Reporters are silhouetted by a screen showing a F1 logo during a news conference to announce a Formula One race in Mexico City July 23, 2014. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

The Miami Herald reported that a discussion on a race contract had been scheduled for July 26 but will now have to wait until after the City Commission’s August recess.

It said the delay was to get more input from downtown residents but quoted City Manager Emilio Gonzalez as saying plans to hold a grand prix in October 2019 had not been derailed.

“We want to make sure we do this right,” he said. “It’s a big event.”

FILE PHOTO: Downtown Miami is pictured in this aerial photo. October 5, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

Gonzalez was authorized by Miami commissioners in May to negotiate a 10-year contract with Formula One on a layout yet to be determined.

The Herald said many downtown and Port Miami residents had expressed concerns about the proposal and potential road closures, noise and traffic problems.

Formula One currently has only one race in the United States, at the purpose-built Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, but commercial rights holders Liberty Media see the region as a key growth area.

A fan festival is already scheduled for Miami this year, in the same week as the Oct. 21 U.S. Grand Prix.

A group calling itself the Better Florida Alliance (www.betterfloridaalliance.org) has already organized a petition headlined “Say no to Formula One closing Miami streets”.

The south Florida city has never before hosted a Formula One championship grand prix, although it has hosted a round of the all-electric Formula E series.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in Hockenheim, editing by Clare Fallon

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