Hard Rock Stadium CEO and Managing Partner of Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix Tom Garfinkel previews the anticipated 2023 race week.
Tom Garfinkel poses in the grandstands. PHOTOGRAPHED BY JORDAN BRAUN SHOT ON SITE AT HARD ROCK STADIUM
Last year, Hard Rock Stadium and its impressive team debuted the first-ever Miami Grand Prix. Serving as the second U.S. city to host Formula 1, the impact on the city was unprecedented and grand, drawing in both domestic and international racegoers for the inaugural affair. Leading the forces behind this incredible undertaking is president and CEO of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium and managing partner of the Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix, Tom Garfinkel.
Garfinkel has been vocal on his mission to transform Hard Rock Stadium into the mecca for culture, lifestyle and sports in Miami and bringing the Grand Prix to Miami was a key factor in making this happen, along with hosting Super Bowl LIV, the Miami Open, the 2026 FIFA World Cup and more.
Reflecting on year one and looking forward to its second year, Garfinkel shares, “We’re taking a hard look at what we did well last year and what we can do better this year, trying to take the feedback we got and improve as well as continue to build upon the things we did well.”
On the inaugural year’s success, Garfinkel credits that pulling off the race in an 11-month timeframe was a huge feat for him and his team.
The team behind Hard Rock Stadium and Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix PHOTOGRAPHED BY JORDAN BRAUN SHOT ON SITE AT HARD ROCK STADIUM
“Given the timing and everything we built, we executed our first year well—people had a great time, we got helpful feedback from fans such as ingress and egress, getting people in and out of the stadium effectively, making sure we had enough points of sales and bathrooms that didn’t have a line,” he notes. However, this year, he promises, will be bigger and better.
“We’re very fortunate to have Stephen Ross and his commitment to doing this right and doing it best in class. We’ve invested in a 190,000-plus square foot permanent building, which will serve as the Paddock Club. That’s going to be the best in racing, ready to debut this year. The people that are on the roof of the Paddock Club have an amazing view from the top and then you can also go into the air-conditioned space and get food and beverage inside,” he expands. “We’re moving the Paddock onto the football field, which is a great expense, but well worth it. It will be very exciting for fans and for all the teams and drivers. We’ve also repaved the racetrack to ensure that we can get the premier surface we possibly can have to allow the best racing from the drivers,” says Garfinkel.
He previews that inside the newly designed Paddock Club, racegoers will delight in food and beverage from DO & CO, have access to a roof deck that has suites and a club space, and access to a bridge that cuts back into the club level of the stadium. Along the campus, other featured hospitality offerings include the Casa Tua Trackside Club, food from Major Food Group’s Carbone and ZZ’s, Groot Hospitality’s Swan and so much more. Additionally, the Hard Rock Beach Club and the Yacht Club will return this year for a unique Miami hospitality experience, allowing different vantage points to view the race in style. And, of course, expect world-class entertainment from surprise headline performances to kick off and close the race.
The Hard Rock Stadium has also committed to sustainability efforts and community impact in bringing this race to Miami.
“We’re proud that we’re the first venue in the country to get rid of over 99% of single-use plastics in the building. From a sustainability standpoint, we’ve worked hard at that. And in terms of the community, we have over 20 interns from the local community and 14 restaurants from Miami Gardens and surrounding communities that will be participating in the event. Over 1,500 tickets have gone to local residents to attend the race, and we also participate in the F1 In Schools program, [which is dedicated to introducing Miami Gardens students to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields from a young age through racing].”
PHOTOGRAPHED BY JORDAN BRAUN SHOT ON SITE AT HARD ROCK STADIUM
From an economic standpoint, the introduction of Formula 1 to Miami is significant, as studies showed a $350 million economic impact from the race last year, bringing people to Miami from all over the world in early May—which is typically the start of Miami’s slower summer season when hotels and restaurants are often not at capacity.
“The race really helps showcase what is now, I feel, the most dynamic city in the world,” says Garfinkel. “Miami is a curator of culture for music, food, art, fashion and sports and the race gives us the opportunity to prove that on a global stage.”
With the race festivities set to kick off on May 5 and culminate on May 7 with the anticipated race day, Hard Rock Stadium promises to deliver excitement and excellence in hospitality across all fronts as racing greats and teams from Ferrari to Red Bull Racing, Mercedes AMG, McLaren, and more prepare to feel the heat of the new Miami track for the 2023 season.
“I think what Stefano Domenicali, the CEO of Formula 1, and Liberty Media have done with Formula 1 is incredible,” says Garfinkel. “We’re proud to be able to bring this amazing racing series here to Miami and showcase the city of Miami and this incredible sport to people that maybe haven’t seen it before.” 347 Don Shula Drive, Miami Gardens, tickets and more information at f1miamigp.com
Photography by: Photos By: Jordan Braun