240,000 Attend the Inaugural Miami Grand Prix

The inaugural Miami Grand Prix attracted a weekend attendance of 242,955, with over 85,000 in attendance on race day. The event broke the record for the largest crowd ever at Hard Rock Stadium.

Images © F1 Destinations.

Max Verstappen’s victory at the 2022 Miami Grand Prix was witnessed by 85,280 fans – the largest crowd on record at Hard Rock Stadium. The stadium’s previous record single-day crowd was 80,120, for the National Championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame in January 2013.

The 3-day weekend attendance figure for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix was 242,955. The figure falls short of the 300,000 estimate by Forbes, but is nevertheless an impressive number for a first-time event.

Despite some concerns over the track surface, which necessitated repairs on two separate occasions, the circuit itself was generally well received by drivers. The Turn 14-15 chicane attracted criticism from some, though the nature of the track’s location means this section of track is unlikely to be changed for future events. The new circuit was also good for overtaking. The Miami Grand Prix featured 45 on track passes – the second most of the 2022 season to date.

Miami Grand Prix attracts big stars

The star-studded Miami Grand Prix weekend attracted a number of big name celebrities, including Michelle Obama, sports stars Tom Brady, David Beckham, Michael Jordan and Venus & Serena Williams, plus music stars will.i.am and Pharrell Williams to name but a few. 

Meanwhile, James Corden was spotted in the paddock filming scenes with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris which are set to air on The Late Late Show in the coming weeks.

The on-track action in Miami was complemented by a range of Formula 1 events across the city during the week of the Grand Prix. The official Opening Party at Hard Rock Stadium was attended by the majority of the current crop of F1 drivers, W Series stars and other famous faces from the world of motorsport. 

A number of teams opened pop-up shops in the city, McLaren and Mercedes had cars on display in South Beach, and a Mercedes F1 car performed a demonstration run on Ocean Drive.

How does Miami’s attendance compare to COTA?

The inaugural United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas, in November 2012, attracted a larger crowd than the 2022 Miami Grand Prix. The weekend attendance figure at COTA’s first race was 265,000 (up 23,000 on the Miami figure), while the race day attendance was 117,429 (32,000 more than on race day in Miami). In recent years, COTA’s attendance figure has grown substantially, with 400,000 in attendance for last year’s United States Grand Prix. 

Of course, a direct comparison cannot be made as Circuit of The Americas is a permanent venue with a much higher capacity than Miami International Autodrome. There was huge interest in the first Miami Grand Prix, with a heavily oversubscribed pre-sale selling out in minutes. This is despite ticket prices being some of the most expensive of the season. The cheapest grandstand tickets were priced at $640 for three days, with VIP packages stretching up to $10,000.

Miami’s weekend figure compares favourably to recent IndyCar races in the United States. The season-opening Grand Prix of St Petersburg attracted a record weekend crowd of 140,000.

As with most first events at new venues, there were some teething issues at the 2022 Miami Grand Prix. Some VIP guests were left unimpressed by Miami’s local hospitality offering, while others complained about parking issues. Those concerns will doubtlessly be ironed out for future runnings of the event. The Miami Grand Prix holds a ten-year contract and will remain on the Formula 1 calendar until at least 2031.

Were you at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

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