City of St. Petersburg officials pronounced themselves "extremely pleased" with attendance of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg despite an extra day of activity to contest the thunderstorm-delayed IZOD IndyCar Series event.
"The city's Police, Fire and Special Events staff are taking a look at the daily crowd estimates for the four days of the event and have not released a figure yet," said city Grand Prix Coordinator Kevin Dunn. "We are confident with the additional day of racing we met or exceeded the city-estimated attendance of 160,000 from last year."
Tickets from the scheduled March 28 race on the 1.8-mile circuit were honored the next day, and gates were opened to the general public for free. City storm-water crews began work early Monday, clearing the track of standing water to make it suitable for racing. Dunn credits the exceptional efforts by city departments, the Grand Prix and Indy Racing League officials, to give the race the green flag.
City officials originally estimated downtown streets affected by the race would be back to normal by April 9, with all other areas open by April 18. Because of the unusual circumstances, motorists and pedestrians could see scheduled road re-openings delayed up to 24 hours. Crews are also optimistic about meeting the previously scheduled reopening of the airport runway on April 1.