Long Beach “exploring options” to save IndyCar Grand Prix

Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, has admitted he is “looking at various possibilities” that allow the 46th edition of IndyCar’s famous street race to run in 2020.

Long Beach “exploring options” to save IndyCar Grand Prix

As of Thursday morning there around 200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California, 28 of which were in LA County, where Long Beach is located. Last Saturday, Michaelian sounded cautiously optimistic that the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach event – which includes rounds of both the NTT IndyCar Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – could go ahead.

However, the Grand Prix is reputed to draw in 180,000 fans across three days, and over the last two weeks all large gatherings in California have been under pressure to cancel or at least postpone.

This pressure increased on Wednesday when, after talk of playing games in empty stadiums as per the NCAA, the NBA announced it had suspended its 2019-20 season indefinitely following Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert testing positive for COVID-19.

This was just one of several significant decisions taken by event organizers and business leaders both inside and outside California over the last five-day period. With the World Health Organization officially declaring the virus as a pandemic, several west coast education establishments switched from classrooms to online learning, large festivals such as Coachella and Stagecoach were postponed until the fall and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in several cities were canceled. Then on Wednesday evening, President Trump announced a travel ban between 26 European countries and the US, during a televised message to the nation.

Later that night, California Governor Gavin Newsom backed the state’s Department of Public Health in recommending the cancelation of any gatherings of 250 or more people across the entire state, or any gatherings in venues too small to allow at least six feet of space between individuals.

Michaelian told the Long Beach Press Telegram: “We’re aware of the statement the Governor made last night, and we’re in discussions with the officials here in the city, and also with our various partners in the Grand Prix to see what our options are.

“We’ll be making a decision with regard to the Grand Prix in the near future…

“The situation is very fluid and we’re exploring the various options that are available to us under some rather challenging circumstances.

“We’ll make our decision known to everyone as soon as it’s concluded.”

The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season-opener in St. Petersburg, FL,  is currently under threat of cancelation or postponement.

shares
comments
IndyCar cancels general admission at St. Pete, race in doubt

Previous article

IndyCar cancels general admission at St. Pete, race in doubt

Next article

IndyCar will race at St. Petersburg but with no fans allowed

IndyCar will race at St. Petersburg but with no fans allowed
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Event Long Beach
Author David Malsher-Lopez
Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy Prime

Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy

Tino Belli, IndyCar’s director of aerodynamic development, believes the changes to the underside of the cars will allow them to run closer at Indy and make passes. The moment of truth comes on its biggest stage, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
May 10, 2021
Colton Herta – America's next racing hero Prime

Colton Herta – America's next racing hero

Last Sunday, Colton Herta demolished his IndyCar opposition in the second round of the season. David Malsher-Lopez explains why Andretti Autosport’s youngest ace bears all the hallmarks of becoming the country’s next homegrown motorsport hero.

IndyCar
Apr 29, 2021
How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival? Prime

How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival?

Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Apr 21, 2021
Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call Prime

Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call

The fight for supremacy in the NTT IndyCar Series will be as intense as ever. David Malsher-Lopez is your guide to the main contenders and six intriguing sub-plots.

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight? Prime

Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight?

With Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up, 2021 could be the year Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet joins the IndyCar elite, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team Prime

Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team

Over 37 seasons, Dale Coyne has run no fewer than 80 Indy car drivers – including himself! Ahead of his first season running Romain Grosjean, we asked Coyne to pick the best 10 drivers ever to compete for him. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 10, 2021
Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed Prime

Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed

Last Friday, Marco Andretti announced he is withdrawing from fulltime IndyCar racing. David Malsher-Lopez explains how this third-gen racer was a puzzle in the car, but a straight shooter off-track.

IndyCar
Jan 19, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020