Mayor: 2020 Firestone Grand Prix is 'still a go' in St. Pete this weekend

Start your engines, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg kicks off this weekend. On Wednesday morning, city officials in St. Petersburg reassured fans that the threat of coronavirus is still a "low-risk" situation.

From March 13 to 15, thousands will come out for the annual event that will feature all types of racing entertainment. St. Petersburg will be closing down its streets for the big racing event. People will be able to see some of the fastest racers perform.

Races will be held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For times and schedules, you can visit the Firestone Grand Prix website

Over the weekend, race fans will have the chance to meet professional racers and indulge in some entertainment and interactive activities.  

Other entertainment includes:

  • Speed Zone
  • IndyCar Series Fan Village
  • Beer Gardens
  • Driver autograph sessions  

General admission tickets for adults are $25 on Friday, $40 Saturday, and $55 on Sunday. Tickets for kids under 12 will be $25 on Friday, $25 on Saturday, and $30 on Sunday. A 3-day pass will cost $60 and prices for all tickets will be $10 more if purchased at the gate. Additional information on other admission options can be found on the Grand Prix website

Gates open at 7:45 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m.

Two confirmed coronavirus cases in Pinellas County were announced by health officials late Tuesday Rick Kriseman said the event is "still a go" but he had a message for those who are planning to attend.

“If you’re not feeling well, please don’t come to the race. Watch it on TV,” he said Wednesday morning. “We also need to make sure we’re not panicking. We need to go about our lives at least until we have data that suggests otherwise. We are at low-risk.”

Grand Prix organizers added hand-washing trailers and hand sanitizer stations throughout the event area. 

“It’s going to be here, please use it,” said Kevin Savoree, with the Firestone Grand Prix. 

He said the event attracts a “regional crowd within 70 miles.” While there are foreign drivers, he said, they’ve been in the country for an excess of 14 days.

St. Pete Fire Rescue officials said they are prepared for the event.

“When we’re preparing for any event, coordinating and collaboration is key. When dealing with an infectious disease, it’s no different,” said Amber Boulding. 

She said the agency received guidance from the state health officials and reiterated that if fans are feeling ill before the event, don’t go.

“If you’re at the event and you begin to feel ill, we encourage you to take all the appropriate precautions, good hygiene, cover sneezes and coughs, and go ahead and leave the event and head home,” she said, “and call your doctor.”

You can watch the full press conference below: