An Inside Look At The Miami Grand Prix
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Happy Monday! I was fortunate enough to attend the first Formula 1 race in Miami this weekend, so I want to use today to break down what I saw and what I think might happen next — let’s get right into it.
First, I think the crew at Hard Rock Stadium deserves a lot of credit. This is a temporary track, and 95% of it will be taken down over the coming weeks in preparation for the upcoming football season.
For those that don’t already know, Hard Rock Stadium is home to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and the NCAA’s Miami Hurricanes, and the track was built on top of where fans would typically park and tailgate for home football games.
I’m a nerd when it comes to this stuff, but take a look at what the venue looked like before set up and what it looked like this weekend — it’s pretty incredible!
The actual race itself was kind of boring. There was limited overtaking. The track was slick outside the racing line, and many fans at home complained that the yachts weren’t the only thing that was Monaco-esque…so was the (uneventful) racing!
But as an attendee, the level of hospitality at the Miami Grand Prix was unmatched.
The land at Hard Rock Stadium is actually pretty tight. They have about 100-150 acres, which seems reasonable until you compare it to Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas — which has hosted the United States Grand Prix since 2012 and has 1,500+ acres of land.
Max Capacity On Race Day
Miami International Autodrome: 85,000
Circuit of The Americas: 150,000
This meant that the crew at Hard Rock Stadium was forced to focus on luxury suites to maximize value. And I was told that they ended up having 2-3x more luxury suites than any track on the current Formula 1 calendar.
Of course, this made tickets pretty expensive. Some people were lucky to get 3-day passes on the primary market for a few hundred dollars. But for those that had to resort to secondary brokers like Ticketmaster, StubHub, and SeatGeek, the ticket prices climbed dramatically — I saw general admission tickets for $500 to $1,000, grandstand seating for $1,000 to $4,000, and premium seating for $5,000 to $20,000.
But this also attracted some of the world’s biggest celebrities. Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, and David Beckham were all hanging out in the Mercedes garage with Lewis Hamilton before the race. LeBron James was sitting in the Palm Club. Patrick Mahomes spent time in the Ferrari hospitality suite. Serena and Venus Williams were seen on TV. Michael Strahan and Ashton Kutcher were walking around the paddock, and Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union were spotted inside the McLaren garage.
Now, I’ve been fortunate to go to some pretty awesome sporting events in my life, but the setup at the Miami GP was probably the best from a pure hospitality perspective.
I spent time in the Paddock Club on Sunday morning (for the non-F1 fans, that’s premium seating above the pits), and I watched the actual race from the Mercedes Silver Arrows Club at turn 5 (shoutout to crypto exchange FTX for the hookup!).
The Paddock Club is obviously super nice—people were eating steak, drinking champagne, and it was packed several hours before the race even started. But the range of hospitality options in Miami is really what surprised me.
Take the Mercedes club, for example. We had a great view of several tight turns, and when the cars weren’t speeding past you at 150+ MPH, they had a large TV in the suite with two people announcing the race in person and answering any questions.
But even outside of team-specific hospitality clubs and luxury suites, fans had so many options. There were thousands of people walking around with general admission passes. The grandstands were packed, and many people played into the Miami vibe by spending the day at the “Beach Club” or the fake marina with yachts.
The campus felt like Disneyland, and it’s hard to believe it was just temporary.
Miami signed a 10-year deal with Formula 1 last year, so this is really just the start of what should be a long and profitable partnership. My guess is that they will probably make some changes to the track to make the race more exciting, but with Liberty Media and Formula 1 focused on driving valuation growth through American expansion, it’s tough to argue that this race was anything but a success for them.
I plan to break down more of the financial details behind the race as they become public. But for now, enjoy this thread I put out yesterday that explains how Liberty Media turned around a struggling business and made billions of dollars while doing it.
I hope everyone has a great day. We’ll talk tomorrow.
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The Joe Pomp Show: New episode with Yanni Hufnagel is live!
Yanni Hufnagel is a former college basketball coach for the California Golden Bears, Vanderbilt Commodores, and Harvard Crimson. But in 2017, Yanni left coaching and launched Lemon Perfect, a flavored cold-pressed lemon water brand.
The business will do $60 million in sales this year, they have raised more than $40 million at a $100 million-plus valuation, and their cap table now includes Beyonce, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Channing Frye, Nick Young, Spencer Dinwiddie, and others.
We talk about how Yanni came up with the original idea, what made him decide to go all-in, the lessons he has learned along the way, and how he thinks the business can go from a $100 million valuation to a $5 billion valuation. Enjoy!