Despite a three-day sell-out, Miami’s maiden F1 Grand Prix will record an operating loss, but promoter Tom Garfinkel says the event has sowed the seeds of its future success.
Formula 1’s much hyped first visit to South Florida lived up to its expectations, at least off the track, thanks to its glitzy atmosphere, bustling animations and heavy traffic of celebrities and A-listers.
Garfinkel initially anticipated that the race weekend would generate a positive bottom line, but additional expenditures to ensure the event’s “first class” status ultimately pushed the numbers into the red.
“If you would have asked me six months ago, I would have expected this to make money based on where the revenues were headed,” said Garfinkel, quoted by 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, 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.”
Garfinkel had made clear several months ago that the event would not run at its full capacity, a decision that inevitably limited revenue. But in the future, attendance numbers are expected to go well beyond last Sunday’s 82,500 paid entries.
“We certainly had demand to sell a lot more tickets, 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,” he said.
“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. 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.”
- Read also: F1 drivers take aim at ‘go-kart’ Miami chicane
While the overall feeling in the paddock was that Miami had staged a reasonably good first event, Garfinkel is aware that there are a few significant issues – centered around the track itself and operational glitches in the paddock – that will need to be addressed for 2023.
“There’s a lot of things we’re learning that we think we can do better,” he said.
“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.”
Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter
The post Miami GP boss undeterred by maiden event's financial loss appeared first on F1i.com.