Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix Brings Extraordinary Richness to Race Weekend
Tickets for this weekend’s Formula 1 Grand Prix in Miami are selling for thousands of dollars apiece as growing interest from the US and the global wealthy drive up prices for a weekend of excess high speed.
More than 300,000 racing fans, tourists, executives and revelers are expected to flock to Miami for the event, sponsored by Crypto.com. This is the inaugural racing league event in Miami and takes place over three days starting Friday.
Crowds and spending are expected to exceed Miami’s 2020 Super Bowl and its annual Art Basel festival, local officials say. Miami’s top hotels charge over $100,000 a night for their best suites. Chefs offer dinner specials for $3,000 a plate and nightclubs bring in top DJs with tables going up to $100,000 a night.
“It’s going to be the biggest week in Miami history,” said Jeff Zalaznick, managing partner of Major Food Group, which sold its dinner in Miami Beach for $3,000 a person. “We’ve never seen such demand. It’s going to be a very hedonistic experience.”
Formula 1 has always been a sport for the wealthy, whether from their mega-yachts in Monaco or from the SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The Miami Grand Prix will mark a whole new level of spending for an American sporting event – fueled by the growing popularity of Formula 1 and the post-pandemic wealth boom in South Florida.
Netflix’s hit series “Drive to Survive” has created a new generation of F1 fans in the United States. TV audiences for the races are up 54% in 2021 compared to 2020, and the first two races of the 2022 season are up 47% compared to 2021, according to ESPN, which broadcasts the races in the United States.
Miami organizers say many of the ticket buyers and Grand Prix attendees are first-time racegoers with cash to burn.
The average price for Sunday’s race is $2,179, three times the average price for the United States Grand Prix in Austin last year, according to online ticket seller SeatGeek. Some tickets sold north of $7,200 each. Organizers say prices soar even higher on weekends, with hospitality packages listed on resale site StubHub for over $25,000.
The sprawling race campus built around Hard Rock Stadium for the event includes a beach, dry-dock marina and several VIP viewing areas. “Sand Tickets” at Hard Rock Beach Club promise resort-style seating for the racing action and are on offer for $1,000 apiece – “beach attire encouraged.” “Bridge tickets” at the Beach Club are $2,000.
With hundreds of thousands of fans expected, but capacity limited to around 80,000 at the race site, local hotels, restaurants and bars will be overwhelmed – and charged accordingly. Event organizers project a $400 million economic impact on the city of Miami Gardens, home of Hard Rock Stadium and the track.
Local hotels lean into luxury.
The St. Regis Bal Harbor Resort is offering a $110,000 “diamond package” that includes a beachfront villa, round-trip private jets, dinner, and a bespoke diamond jewel from De Beers.
The five-star Faena Hotel Miami Beach is offering its 4,500-square-foot Faena Suite for $120,000 a night during race weekend. The package includes access to the Red Bull team hospitality suite, which offers one of the best race viewing areas.
Red Bull is currently second in the F1 team standings, behind Ferrari, and has current world champion Max Verstappen among its drivers.
Restaurant Carbone, whose parent company Major Food Group is building a glitzy restaurant empire stretching from Las Vegas to Miami to Hong Kong, is creating a special pop-up restaurant in South Beach for Formula 1 crowds.
It will host 200 guests per night at Carbone Beach, offering cocktails, wine, champagne, caviar, dinner prepared by Chef Mario Carbone and nightly performances by surprise guests. With a price tag of $3,000 per person per night — not including tip — Zalaznick said dinners were basically sold out.
“Honestly, I think it’s worth $6,000 per person,” Zalaznick said. “We are well ahead of what we expected.”
And the spending doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Nightclub E11even Miami brings in famous DJs such as Tiesto and Diplo for the week and offers tables between $5,000 and $100,000 per night.