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Miami GP boss says expensive F1 food prices were posted out of context

Hard Rock Stadium president and CEO Tom Garfinkel has defended food prices that were highlighted on social media at Formula 1's Miami GP, saying they were posted 'without context'.

Tom Garfinkel serves as Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium and Managing Partner of the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Garfinkel, who is the managing partner of the Formula 1 event and also boss of the Miami Dolphins NFL team, spoke to selected media including Autosport ahead of the third race weekend held at his venue.

He said that the concession prices reflected the highly varied levels of disposable income of racegoers, from regular fans through to wealthy business people and celebrity VIP guests across the site’s expansive hospitality areas.

“Somebody sent out a tweet the other day that showed a lobster roll was $280 and they sent it out without comment,” said Garfinkel. “And the context that wasn't included is that it was for a suite.

“It was a lobster roll, for probably 10 people, for $280.”

 

A sellout crowd of 275,000 fans attended the Miami International Autodrome over the three days, up over 5,000 from last year, and an increase of 45,000 from the inaugural event in 2022.

Garfinkel pointed out that the general admission, $150 campus passes – which were introduced following criticism of expensive ticket prices – gave an affordable three-day option with varied viewing spots around the track and above the F1 paddock in the upper seats of the NFL field.

Watch: F1 2024 Miami GP Review - Lando Seizes his Historic Maiden Win

“I think it was really fun to see, probably for the first time in three years, the 300 level of the stadium was almost half full [with] campus pass holders,” he said.

“They can go right across the way [he points to a spot outside the braking zone for Turn 1, where a spectator platform is located] where there's risers where people can stand on if you buy a campus pass for $150 a day – you can stand right next to the race track.

“And those risers exist in multiple areas around the race track. You can go upstairs at the top of the stadium, walk around, see most of the track, and the concessions are open just like they are for football.

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“So, there are options that are less expensive, and there's a lot of them all over the campus. And then there's some options that are more expensive, and then there's some options that are really expensive because [renowned New York celebrity chef] Mario Carbone is there making your vodka rigatoni, and it's going to cost a lot of money.

“We're just trying to provide options across that spectrum and sometimes people are going to point one thing out and say ‘that's really expensive’ without providing the context that it's actually a lobster roll for a suite for 10 people, right?

“So, there are inexpensive options as well as that, which is important to us.”

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