grand prix

Grand Prix Shifts Into Gear as Local Fans, Neighbors Take Opposite Sides

Tens of thousands of fans were packing into the race track to be part of an international spectacle, including thousands of South Florida residents

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Miami Grand Prix at Hard Rock Stadium is being compared to having the Super Bowl for three straight days — that’s how big Formula One racing has become worldwide.

The Lake Lucerne neighborhood is across a canal and a block north of Hard Rock Stadium.

From some homes, the grandstand of the Miami Grand Prix is not only visible, but you can even count the people sitting there watching cars on the straightaway of the racecourse.

During today’s practice sessions, the roar of the engines was obvious in the neighborhood, but standing outside, conversations took place without shouting.

The noise of low-flying helicopters and banner planes seemed almost as loud as the Formula One cars.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of fans were packing into the race track to be part of an international spectacle, including thousands of South Florida residents.

“It’s a great opportunity for the local people from Miami and from all over the world to come here to this amazing event, I think it’s gonna be a blast,” said Alejandro Salas, who lives within a few miles of the stadium, and said he’s not worried about the noise and congestion the race brings. “I mean it is going to be a problem, but it is what it is, everyone’s here to have fun, to enjoy the race, too enjoy the events, so it’s time to enjoy and forget about the rest.”

Is there increased traffic? No doubt about it. The streets, avenues, and highways around the stadium were clogged up today.

“The traffic is ridiculously bad, it’s horrible, I just came from Miramar Parkway, that’s normally a three-minute drive, it took me over an hour,” said Deedee Gilliard, who lives in the Lake Lucerne neighborhood.

Formula One fans are focused on the race cars, not the ones we all drive every day.

“I think it’s spectacular, I took the day off, actually took the whole weekend off to attend the race with my son, we’re avid race fans, we’ve been watching Formula One for many years so excited to have it here in our hometown,” said Henry Lischner of Palmetto Bay.

Some businesses near the stadium are excited about the potential for their bottom lines. Lorna’s Caribbean American Grille is within walking distance from Hard Rock Stadium.

They’re expecting an influx of Formula One fans this weekend.

“We’re definitely expecting it, we added a couple more staff just to make sure everything’s OK,” said owner Matari Bodie, who said the Grand Prix is a “great thing” for the area.

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