ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - City officials and event organizers for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg are finalizing their plans to welcome fans in the stands for the rescheduled race. On Thursday morning, they announced they will welcome 20,000 spectators later this month.
During a St. Pete council meeting, officials approved the plan to operate the event with the thousands of fans, but there will be safety measures in place due to the pandemic. All, including competitors, must undergo a health screening and temperature check before entering the race, which is scheduled for Oct. 23-25.
All attendees will be required to wear a face covering at all times, unless they are eating or drinking. Those without one will be provided a mask at the entrance.
The paddock and pit lane will be closed to spectators to help with social distancing. Hand sanitizers and hand-washing stations will be located throughout the venue.
Previously purchased tickets, which were not already deferred, will be valid on the corresponding days of the postponed event. Those who purchased tickets will receive more information via email, according to INDYCAR. Reserved grandstand seating may need to reassigned to allow for social distancing.
Additional information can be found here.
City officials said a "very limited number of tickets" will be up for sale in the coming days on the Grand Prix website.
It will be the first time the Firestone Grand Prix will be used as the season finale for the NTT INDYCAR Series. It's traditionally the opener.
Earlier this week, Mayor Rick Kriseman announced city leaders and event organizers are allowing fans to attend the race.
"These are outside events. We know it's safer to be outside so we are very comfortable with people being outside," Kriseman said.
In March, organizers said the Firestone Grand Prix was canceled, but two months later, INDYCAR announced it will just be postponed to later in the year.
Starting Oct. 5, Kriseman said the city will begin issues permits for events, but reminded residents and visitors that a mask order is still in place, despite the governor's decision to ban mask penalties statewide.