ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Firestone Grand Prix is canceled amid coronavirus concerns, IndyCar said in a statement on Friday. However, they are doing what they can for ticket purchasers.
Ticket purchasers on file for the March 13-15 event may choose to defer their purchased tickets for use at the March 2021 Grand Prix. Or as an alternative, purchasers may elect to receive a credit for the full amount paid plus an additional 10 percent to apply toward future Green Savoree Racing Promotions events.
That credit can be used in a single transaction during the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
— GPSTPETE (@GPSTPETE) March 14, 2020
IndyCar said all NTT IndyCar Series events through April are canceled beginning with the Grand Prix, which was set to start Friday.
"Although we are disappointed to delay the start to this INDYCAR season and will miss our incredible fans who support us each year in St. Petersburg, Birmingham, Long Beach, and Austin, the safety of our fans, participants, staff, partners, and media will always remain our top priority," IndyCar said in a statement. "We will continue to coordinate with public health experts and government officials as we determine the appropriate plans for resuming our schedule."
St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman said the city respects the decision.
"We respect this decision. As I've said all week, this virus and the strategies to mitigate exposure have created a very fluid situation," Kriseman said. "We are appreciative of our outstanding partnership with IndyCar and the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and look forward to the race returning to St. Pete in 2021"
The announcement comes just one day after Mayor Kriseman announced the event would go on without spectators.
"I don't make this decision lightly. I strongly believe life must carry on, as best we are able. But the reality now is that's just not possible. I am disappointed," Kriseman said. "I love this race. But I love this city and our residents more. Thank you for your trust."
On Wednesday Kriseman said St. Pete was ready for the event, despite two travel-related cases of coronavirus in Pinellas County.
"We are ready to embrace the race," Mayor Kriseman said during Wednesday's press conference.
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