Site logo

Miami boss surprised by inaugural event's financial loss

NEWS STORY
13/05/2022

Despite the hype, the inaugural Miami Grand Prix was a loss maker, much to the surprise of co-promoter Tom Garfinkel.

Garfinkel, billionaire CEO of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium, co-promoted the event with Liberty Media, and with the event having sold-out - in every sense – in days, it was expected to generate a profit. However, this proved not to be the case.

Despite the support of the media, Miami-based Motorsport Network publishing endless articles eulogising the event before a wheel had even turned, the event came under fierce criticism from fans and drivers alike, while even many of the celebrities are understood to have been less than impressed, as were fans who attended the event, citing the poor facilities and service.

"If you would have asked me six months ago, I would have expected this to make money based on where the revenues were headed," says Garfinkel, according to Motorsport.com. "But based on where the expenses headed, we're not going to make one this year. However, it was very important for us to deliver a great event.

"The expenses far exceeded our expectations," he admits, "but it was because we were trying to do everything we could first class to be on brand for what F1 is and the kind of event we wanted to deliver."

While the event sold out (and how), organisers had opted to limit capacity to 85,000 though future races will see this increased.

"We certainly had demand to sell a lot more tickets," says Garfinkel, "but I want to get people in and out of here, concessions, bathrooms, and all of those things, to try to do that really well.

"We want to kind of see, are there any pinch points of pedestrian bridges where we need to do a better job? Are there any bathroom situations, concessions, traffic, etc that can be improved? So once we evaluate that, we'll know where we can grow.

"I'd like to get to 100,000 a day," he admits. "If we can get there next year, we'll do that. But if we don't feel like we can do that, and give everybody a great experience, we will grow it more slowly.

"There's a lot of things we're learning that we think we can do better,” he adds. “And there's some things that are going really well. The feedback has been very positive, from the teams, drivers and F1, FIA. And the feedback we've got from the fans: there are certainly some things that I think we can get better. But, for a first time event, I think it's gone really well."

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by alvarezh3, 16/05/2022 18:35

"@Max Noble

Agree with your post, specially that the "core fan base" gives the sport its value. But, I would not doubt that for Tom Garfinkel the value of the dollar bill coming from a party goer is the same as that coming from a "core fan". I suspect the MIA co-promoter could care less who pays, it's the money making that is important to them.

OTOH, good or bad racing, due to the increase in US tv viewers there are more people who know that McLaren is a British sports car manufacturer and that Haas is a USofA corporation that manufactures CNC machines, etc. I tend to think that one way or another, regardless of a good or bad track or race, the teams are happy for the additional exposure in the USofA market. that alone is a selling point to increase the monetary value of their promotional services.

I few years back I wrote here that the late Frank Williams once said that he was in the advertising business, that he had a moving banner for sale as a promotional tool."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Max Noble, 16/05/2022 10:38

"@Kenji - ho, ho, and, ho… :-)

@alvarezh3 - Agree those looking for “A reason to party” probably got that itch scratched. I am going to be very curious as to who returns for “round two” next year. Getting “in” with the in crowd is a complex matter, and then the problem becomes for an organisation like Liberty - that not really knowing why they are now “in” they offen fall “out” very quickly, wondering what just happened. The “core fan base” is what gives the sport it’s value. Annoy the core, AND have the fashionable ones desert within a couple of years, and you are in big trouble… Look at the Indy Car/CART split as an example of total disaster…"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by kenji, 15/05/2022 8:58

"Whilst we are chatting about Miami we should briefly mention the very very worst ever rendition of the 'Star Spangled Banner' that i've ever heard! It was more like the 'Star Mangled Banner' What ever were they thinking [ or smoking ] when they made that decision. It was ghastly."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by kenji, 15/05/2022 8:51

"@ Max...the Oxford comma is everyones friend...I think. haha"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by Max Noble, 15/05/2022 6:15

"@Every one - OK this deserves an article not a direct comment response. I view it as an immense, and complex concept the difference between “Appealing to many” compared to “Selling out”. Did the Beatles remain true, while the Spice Girls sold out? Is the Porsche 911 “true”, while the “Cayenne” sold out? Is the (Hello Ben Johnson) 100M sprint true, while a wing suit stunt over Everest sold out?

…and do not get me going on the “Oxford comma” prior to “and”… Esteemed Editor Balfe, and I, differ on this application of punctuation…

Oh! A loss? Depends on how the overall organisation is handling this from a tax perspective. Very much like the “Cost Cap” a.k.a. “How many ways can I spend untold dollars overseas in other companies?” I’m sure this is the most favourable of loss making events for all concerned, except the $$$ paying fan… (Hint - if you do not own the Miami Dolphins you came second in this deal…)
"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by kenji, 15/05/2022 1:19

"It never fails to amaze me that so many people are relishing the less than favourable outcome achieved by the Miami race promoters. Why the discontent? Yes, the race was far from being an exciting wheel to wheel contest for its entirety but they 'gave it a go' which when considering the state of the world economy and other disruptions was a fine attempt. Today, very little is seen of comment expressed from a positive POV whereas the fashion is to vocally promote disatisfaction. Everyone is seen as a victim..... I'm pretty sure that next year we'll see a different approach and less flim flam. At least I hope so and I expect Martin Brundle will second this.


"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by Defiant, 14/05/2022 17:39

"I read the title alone and laughed out loud."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

8. Posted by elsiebc, 14/05/2022 16:44

"If he couldn't make money at $900 per GA ticket what will they cost next year? "

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

9. Posted by alvarezh3, 13/05/2022 19:26

"I have no crystal ball, but I suspect there will be many in attendance next year for some these reasons:

A) I tend to think that a considerable number of spectators at the MIA don't know the difference between a good and a bad race. If the service, the food and the drinks are to their spec, plus their fav team (usually the car brand they drive, or for some, the brand they would like to drive, Ferrari, MB, AM, Alfa etc.) has a driver on the podium, for them, the race was GREAT!

B) There are tens of thousands of these spectators who would not want to loose the opportunity to brag about being at the "spectacle". For those, talking about their presence at the race is a self esteem elevating experience. I would not doubt that, if they can, they would most likely be in attendance again.

C) There are tens of millions of citizens in the USofA with excess money to freely spend in leisure. While the Eurozone's Per Capita GDP is US$37,712.00 (2020), that of the USofA is double at US$76,027 (April 2020), with pretty much the same population (EZ=341 millions vs. USofA=331).

D) Many USofA citizens have these beliefs (I have learned from having lived in the USofA and also by sharing living quarters -dorms- while at prep school and college) that being at the same place with nationally or internationally known persons makes them feel somehow also "important". They go wild for an autograph -now also selfies- from and with these persons. True, it happens all over the world, but I wonder if the practice did not start in the USofA and the rest of the world just copied their behavior. I have seen on the news how Jr. USofA Congress members flip over to get their President to sign them an autograph while he is on Capitol Hill to give his yearly "State of the Union" address, (this happens as he walks in and out of the chamber). They look like little kids running behind a highly rated sportsman to obtain their signature. Incredible.

I expect that every year there will be a changing of the guard in respect to the so called "Celebrities" to inspire at least some of the spectators to keep coming back just to add to their autograph and selfie collection. For these, watching a formula car for 5 to 10 seconds (it depends on where you are located) every minute and a half for 57 times, is nothing more than an added bonus.

I am definitely missing other reasons for people to attend that are not much related to what goes on the track, I can't know them all, but for the next few years at least, I believe there should be plenty of souls at the entrance gates."

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

10. Posted by Roli, 13/05/2022 18:47

"Hollywood stars never pay for anything....92% stars, 8% team members....no one paid ?"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

11. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 13/05/2022 15:21

"120K plus seats and less fake water is what's needed."

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

12. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 13/05/2022 14:01

"Just like a Hollywood movie never makes a profit."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

13. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 13/05/2022 13:05

"Looks like the accountants have been busy."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

14. Posted by habentsen, 13/05/2022 12:13

"I expect he has to pay 100.000 people to show up next year.
That track is so bad it would have been better if it was built with traffic cones around the car park.

"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

15. Posted by Superbird70, 13/05/2022 12:08

"Fake water is expensive.
"

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2022. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms