ST. PETERSBURG — The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be growing again this spring, in more ways than one.
The event is getting back to pre-pandemic levels by reinstating the annual 5K charity run on the Thursday of race week. The run along the downtown waterside track benefits the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg and will take place for the first time since 2019.
The Grand Prix will also have its second IndyCar Party in the Park at North Straub Park from 5:30-8 p.m. on March 2. Many drivers are expected to be there, and their cars will be on display before most on-track activity begins the next morning.
Race fans who attend the March 3-5 event will notice another change: roomier seats. The event organizers, Green Savoree Racing Promotions, have upgraded the grandstands, so seats will have 5 more inches of legroom. The suites will feature stadium-style seats — an option for the rest of the grandstands in the coming years.
“I think you’ve seen that worldwide, sporting arenas have slowly been upgrading,” company co-owner Kim Green said. “This is our first step.”
Green and his business partner, Kevin Savoree, were among the officials who announced the changes during a Thursday ceremony to formally start track construction (which actually began a few days ago).
This year’s Grand Prix will feature 10 races, highlighted by the IndyCar season opener that Sunday at 12:30. It will air on NBC.
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