IndyCar’s Grand Prix of St. Petersburg may not go ahead this weekend, after the city mayor said an announcement will be made on Thursday afternoon.
The 2020 IndyCar championship season is in doubt, following statements from the city mayor on Thursday. Rick Kriseman, city mayor of St. Petersburg, confirmed that two people in the city have been tested and confirmed as having COVID-19.
As a result, the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg has been closed to General Admission ticket holders, with an announcement expected on Thursday afternoon about whether the race itself will take place.
“Yesterday I said the situation regarding the coronavirus was fluid.” said Kriseman on Twitter. “I said that for a reason. Since yesterday, we’ve learned of a coronavirus case at an open-air event similar to ours, Bike Week. Then, at an EMS conference across the Bay from us. The World Health Organisation says this a global pandemic. My most important job is public safety and health. It is for that reason that we are cancelling general attendance at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.”
“We are working with the promoters and IndyCar and will have more announcements later as to whether the race itself will run.”
Kriseman, a vocal fan of the race in the city, told NBC that he’s extremely disappointed with the way the event is unfolding: .“I strongly believe life must carry on as best as we are able, but the reality is during this global pandemic, this doesn’t appear possible.”
“I want to express my disappointment and where we are at today in this decision. I love this event. Those of you who know me, know how passionate I am about this race and what the IndyCar race has on the city.”
“We will make an announcement later today about the race moving forward.”
In brighter news, the mayor also confirmed that the city has extended its contract with race promoters Green Savoree to keep the Grand Prix in St. Petersburg for at least five more years.
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