ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Engines will be roaring in St. Petersburg as the 2018 Firestone Grand Prix returns.
The event kicks off on March 9 and lasts through Sunday. There will be 11 total races during the weekend with the 110-lap IndyCar race set for Sunday, March 11 around 12:30 p.m. Additional information on each race can be found at the Firestone Grand Prix website.
An estimated 400,000 people have flooded the City of St. Pete for fast Indy cars and greasy food.
The city says more than $48 million comes to downtown bars and restaurants during the Firestone Grand Prix which runs through city streets downtown.
David Madera runs a bar and restaurant just feet from the racetrack, Madera says he’s felt the financial impact of the race first hand.
“It adds about 25-30 percent of what we would normally do,” Madera said.
His staff prepares well in advance for the extra foot traffic, for one of their most successful weekends.
Out of the $48 million spent, The City of St. Petersburg did a study, they estimate seeing around $4 million in tax revenue.
Downtown St. Petersburg will be bustling with race fans, visitors and residents with events, meaning there will be traffic. City officials are advising drivers to be aware of any traffic closures.
The following downtown streets are closed or have limited access to traffic through race weekend:
Closed – Beach Dr. from Central Avenue to First Avenue S.
Closed – First Street from First Avenue S. to Fifth Avenue S.
Closed – Albert Whitted Park, motorized and pedestrian traffic
Limited Access – On Second Avenue S. from First to Second Street S.
Limited Access – First Street S. from Fifth Avenue S to Eighth Avenue S.
Limited Access – Sixth Avenue S. from Second Street to First Street
Grand Prix Movie in the Park
The city’s movies on the will have a race theme with “Cars 3.” It will be held on Friday, March 9 at North Straub Park. A kids craft station will begin at 5:30 p.m. The film will begin at dark.
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg 5K
Located in North Straub Park where athletes of all ages and abilities can run along a waterfront course. Advance registration is $35 and proceeds will benefit the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg. It will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 9. More details can be found by clicking here