ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—The COVID-19 pandemic has postponed another auto race.
The 17th annual Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, originally set for March 5-7, will be held April 23-25, according to officials from the city of St. Petersburg, Green Savoree St. Petersburg, L.L.C. and IndyCar.
Organizers said the switch was made with the understanding a greater number of fans might be able to attend the race at the later date.
The event usually kicks off the IndyCar season. Last year, it served as the season finale for the NTT IndyCar due to its postponement because of the pandemic.
The temporary circuit is a 1.8-mile, 14-turn track, using the streets circling Pioneer Park, the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, The Dali Museum and extending onto the runways at Albert Whitted Airport, which overlooks the waterfront of Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg Harbor and Marina.
"Each of these races takes an incredible amount of work from hundreds of dedicated professionals, and I know the decision to move the date of the race is not made lightly," St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman said. "I appreciate the drivers, teams, staff, and most of all the fans for their patience and understanding."
Mark Miles, Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO, said officials were able to work together to find a more suitable date and "it allows us to stay on NBC network television."
More information and customer FAQs will be posted at gpstpete.com.
According to organizers, the rescheduled event will be subject to the guidance and mandates of national, state and local authorities regarding public gatherings as the conditions evolve with the ongoing pandemic. The health and safety of all associated with this event will remain the priority of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, organizers said.