Miami GP coach defends high F1 ticket prices


The first-ever Miami GP around Hard Rock Stadium in the Miami Dolphins was the most exciting Formula One race in years, and that was also reflected in the ticket prices.

At $640, the cheapest grandstand tickets, the second most expensive seats on the Formula 1 calendar after Monaco, were sold on the first day of release.

Fans wanting to get into the general entry area had to drop from $300 for Friday to $500 for race day, which only exacerbates inflated prices at many food and drink franchises.

The festival style event, which attracted the interest of fans and sponsors around the world and sold out to 240,000 people over three days, is further proof that the tournament was a huge success in the United States. But the Super Bowl-like pull of it also means that, like the NFL Final, it has most people out of the market.

When asked about criticism of ticket prices, Miami GP boss Garfinkel, who also runs the Dolphin Arena and Hard Rock Arena, said supply and demand have determined the price of the ticket.

“Well, it’s partly scarcity and supply and demand,” Garfinkel said. “I mean, we’ve never really done a public sale and we’ve had such a huge demand that ticket prices are partly indicative of that.”

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A522, Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari F1-75

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A522, Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari F1-75

Photography: Mark Sutton / motorsports pictures

Garfinkel insisted that general admission tickets, which Miami calls campus passes, offer good value for money since no expense was spared to turn the South Florida venue into a semi-amusement park, featuring a beach club, fan areas, and live concerts all weekend.

“I guess one thing we didn’t do very well [with] – We can do a better job in the future – is to educate people about what a campus permit is.”

“For $300 on a Friday you can go out and experience the racetrack. There are a lot of different things with campus passes. There is a lot to experience here. It’s not an ordinary pass. You can see a lot of different parts of the racetrack. There are a lot of different things that must be done.

“Then at the high end, yes, we do have some luxury experiences where tickets are very expensive. So some of it was based on supply and demand. But we hope to offer that experience to people who have bought tickets.”

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