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Five More Laps: The Firestone Grand Prix Will Return To St Petersburg Until At Least 2024

Firestone Grand Prix St. Petersburg Facebook page
The Firestone Grand Prix will be returning to downtown St Petersburg every year for the next five years.

Start your engines, the Firestone Grand Prix will be returning to St Petersburg every year for the next five years.

The city has served as the kick-off to the NTT IndyCar series for the last nine years. 

The event lasts for three days in March, and it brings with it thousands of fans, said Kim Green, CEO of Green Savoree, the company that promotes for the race.

He said race fans provide an economic boost for the city. 

"The event tracks a lot of people into the city for race week who are spending money in restaurants, paying for hotel rooms, spending money in the area. The last study we did the economic impact was between $40,000-$50,000 a year," Green said.

The track is 1.8 miles long and winds its way through downtown St Petersburg by Pioneer Park, the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, and Albert Whitted Airport.

Green said the race - now in its ninth year - also puts St Petersburg on the radar of IndyCar fans around the globe, as it's broadcast to almost 200 countries.

"It's a great advertisement for showing St Petersburg," Green said. "From the air St Petersburg has a beautiful, scenic view of Tampa Bay. The race shows the city very well. I think it's done quite a lot to draw attention to St Petersburg as a place to visit."

Green said the event also helps raise money for All Children's Hospital and the Police Athletic League.

Carrie Pinkard is the Stephen Noble news intern for the summer 2019 semester. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida State University in English, before heading to USF St Pete to pursue a master’s in journalism.