Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dalí Museum visitors will to have shell out for a race ticket, too, on Grand Prix weekend

For the Honda Grand Prix, Fifth Avenue S, the Dali Boulevard, is closed to traffic near the Salvador Dalí Museum in downtown St. Petersburg. Museum officials hope, at a combined $41-$61, Grand Prix fans show their “worldly interests.”


For the Honda Grand Prix, Fifth Avenue S, the Dali Boulevard, is closed to traffic near the Salvador Dalí Museum in downtown St. Petersburg. Museum officials hope, at a combined $41-$61, Grand Prix fans show their “worldly interests.”


If you're planning to visit the new Salvador Dalí Museum on the weekend of the seventh annual Honda Grand Prix, there's good news and bad news.

The good news: The museum will be open during the race, which runs from March 25 to March 27. The bad news: You will have to pay up to $40 general admission for a race ticket —on top of the museum's $21 admission.

Oh, and you can't park at the museum either — the parking lots there will be full of trucks catering to the race cars and drivers.

The surreal culture clash between St. Petersburg's elegant new arts destination and its revved-up racing competition is "uncharted territory" that both are trying to work through, said Tim Ramsberger, vice president and general manager of Andretti Green Promotions, promoters of the annual race.

Can melting watches and burning rubber work together for the good of St. Petersburg?

"We're looking forward to finding that out," said Hank Hine, executive director of the Dalí.

When the Dalí was in its original waterfront location on Third Street S, the race was not a problem. But its new location at what used to be the Bayfront Center has put it smack in the middle of the Grand Prix route, which sends the race cars on 181 laps that also pass Pioneer Park, the Mahaffey Theater, Progress Energy Park and even the runways at Albert Whitted Airport.

Museum officials, who saw a record-setting single-day attendance of 3,000 people this past Thursday, have chosen to keep their doors open during the three-day race — at least this year, to see if it works.

"We've heard that the Grand Prix draws a very interesting and diverse crowd with a lot of worldly interests," Hine said. "They're supposed to be distinct from other race fans — the people who come are interested in culture."

Museum visitors will have to buy a race ticket because the museum is situated inside the area cordoned off for the race. That means, on Friday, spending $10 for a general admission race ticket on top of a $21 museum ticket. On Saturday, race tickets are $25 for general admission, and on Sunday they're $40 — meaning a trip to the museum would be $61 that day.

The museum staff has planned no special event to cater to the race crowd, although Hine noted that in the lobby there's a 1933 Rolls-Royce modified so that rain pours down and lightning flickers inside the car as a surrealist gag. Perhaps race car fans will find that interesting, he said.

This isn't exactly a comfortable fit for the race, either. Before the Dalí was built in its new location, the Grand Prix used that area for parking the trucks bringing in the race cars. Now that space is considerably smaller, Ramsberger said.

"This is a whole new dynamic" for both of them, he said.

During the four days prior to the race, when the track is off-limits to traffic, the museum will run a shuttle from the Pier parking lots for its patrons. But during the race, anyone who wants to visit the Dalí will have to park at Tropicana Field, just like the race fans, and ride the same shuttles they're using.

Ramsberger predicted the race would end up being a boon for the Dalí. Since the museum has painted its name on the roof of its distinctive building, he said, "in effect they're going to get a 2 1/2 hour live commercial on ABC" thanks to aerial shots of the race.

The museum staff is a little concerned about how much noise from the roaring engines will filter into the building, Hine said. Normally, very little sound gets through its windows, which are two thick panes of glass separated by a layer of argon gas, "but at 130 decibels, I don't know," he said.

Despite that, the museum's collection of art won't need to be stored away or moved because of the noise and vibration, said Cindy Cockburn, the Dalí's public relations spokeswoman.

"We're built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane," said Cockburn. "We will never have to move our paintings."

Craig Pittman can be reached at

Dalí Museum visitors will to have shell out for a race ticket, too, on Grand Prix weekend 03/14/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 18, 2011 8:47am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.