(NewsNation) — The inaugural Miami Grand Prix is set to dazzle as one of the most anticipated see-and-be-seen sporting events of the year.
It’s been mostly NASCAR around these parts the last two decades, but Formula One auto racing roars into Miami this weekend as “Drive to Survive” hits South Beach.
The U.S. went four years without an F1 race after the series pulled out of Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2007. The series was revived in 2012 in Austin, Texas, and the explosion of “Drive To Survive” after 2019 helped that race grow into a three-day festival that last year drew more than 300,000.
The event is expected to bring in about $400 million to the community over the next three days. It is also attracting some of the richest and most powerful people in the world.
Tickets to the race range from $300 to $3,000 and just about everywhere you go in the greater Miami area, local businesses have an F1 event or promotion. Hospitality packages are starting at $25,000, with some hotel suites costing up to $100,000.
“The celebrity attendance is like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Tom Garfinkel, part-owner of the Miami race, said in an interview with The Associated Press. “This is the Grammys meets the Oscars meets the ESPYs meets the Allen & Co. event.”
Miami Grand Prix is a sold-out event. There’s also going to be a really big music scene. Tiesto and Post Malone are performing, but the big name that’s catching a lot of attention is Travis Scott. Scott is going to be performing Saturday night in his first public performance since ten people died in a crowd surge at his Astroworld Festival in Houston.
The best auto racers in the world are now in Miami and ready to go.
Crews have worked for weeks to transform the Miami Dolphin’s stadium into a Formula One Grand Prix oasis with a racetrack, a beach, a marina and a lot of VIP areas.
Neighbors expressed worries about the 300,000 expected fans and party-goers that the race is expected to attract, but many argue it’s a smart move for South Florida.
“So we see it as a strategically welcoming back the international markets from around the globe,” Rolando Aedo, COO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, said. “Whether it’s in South America, whether it’s in Europe, or even Asia. This is something that will bring a lot of attention and a lot of eyeballs to greater Miami and Miami Beach.”
The city has a 10-year deal with Hard Rock Stadium to hold the race annually.
“Beyond the glitz, the glam, the celebrity, the parties, which definitely are the big buzz, but it’s also got tremendous economic development opportunities as well,” Aedo said. “So while it’s a car race, it’s really a lifestyle event.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.