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Mayor Regalado Pushes for Formula E to Stay in Miami

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Formula E, the new, all-electric spinoff of the Formula 1 car-racing series, is coming to Miami in a couple of weeks, when the Miami ePrix will take over Biscayne Boulevard.

But the series could be here to stay. At today's city commission meeting, Mayor Tomás Regalado will introduce a resolution proposing Miami as a site for the next five years. "I was proud that I was very instrumental in bringing Formula E to Miami," Regalado tells New Times.

The series, in its first year, has already staged races in Beijing, Malaysia, Uruguay, and Buenos Aires. Created with the intention of providing entertainment, inspiring technological innovation, and boosting the image of electric cars, the series has won ardent fans and also inspired criticism.

But Regalado insists hosting it here is a good deal for Miami. Organizers covered the costs of everything, he says, even chipping in $1 million for sidewalk improvements, and the race is scheduled to shut down traffic for only one day. "They have made a very large commitment of money to do this here in Miami," he says, adding that the event is expected to generate millions. "We should celebrate that Formula E is on the national and international scene."

This year's race will be held March 14, with a course circling the American Airlines Arena and including Biscayne Boulevard from NE Sixth Street to the MacArthur Causeway. Tickets cost $20.

Update: The commission approved a preliminary five-year race agreement, with language allowing the city to back out if necessary, the Miami Herald reported. "I strongly urge this commission," commissioner Marc Sarnoff said, "Run it once. See how it goes."

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