Miami Grand Prix organizers ban Trump fundraiser during event

Miami Grand Prix organizers ban Trump fundraiser during event

An influential Donald Trump fundraiser has been informed that he cannot use a paddock suite at the Miami Grand Prix to raise funds for his presidential run.

Miami Grand Prix organizers have prohibited a scheduled fundraising event for Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential bid from being held within the paddock suite facilities.

According to a Cease and Desist order issued by the race organizers, the event which was planned by real estate tycoon Steven Witkoff was banned due to a violation of the terms and conditions of the suite usage.

Paddock suites are exclusive spaces at F1 races with views near the track action and are usually designated for team hosts or sponsors making them highly sought-after spots for any kind of gathering.

Witkoff had secured a Paddock Club Rooftop Suite, but the Washington Post claimed that he was demanding $250,000 per person for a ticket amid having recently testified in the civil lawsuit against the 45th president in New York, where he was fined $350 million for financial fraud.

Grand Prix organizers immediately issued Steven Witkoff a Cease and Desist letter in response to the planned event. The directive disallowed the practice of campaigning or fundraising in the vicinity and explicitly pointed out that it was not in line with the intended purpose of the suite.

It was made clear that breaking the rules would not only put an end to the event but also have Witkoff potentially ejected from the race weekend and a full refund issued to him. The letter, which was obtained by The Washington Post, read:

“It has come to our attention that you may be using your Paddock Club Rooftop Suite for a political purpose, namely raising money for a federal election at $250,000 per ticket, which clearly violates the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix suite license agreement.

“If this is true, we regret to inform you that your suite license will be revoked, you will not be allowed to attend the race at any time, and we will refund you in full.”

The publication further stated that Trump will be attending next weekend’s Miami Grand Prix as the Secret Service has already set up his schedule inclusive of the track visit. It also added Witkoff termed the reports “fake” but would not provide any further information.

Trump wouldn’t be the first American president to attend an F1 event with the 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton attending the 2017 United States Grand Prix. In 2022, the former first lady Michelle Obama attended the inaugural Miami race.

Notably, Trump’s appearance continues a somewhat recent tradition of presidential figures appearing at major American motorsport events. For instance, Trump attended the Daytona 500 in 2020. However, the intersection of sports, business, and politics often leads to complex situations such as the one unfolding at the Miami Grand Prix.

Leave a Reply