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Boston Marathon Bombings: Kansas Speedway Consulting With FBI On Security Measures
Published April 17, 2013
LONG BEACH FOLLOWING SUIT: Long Beach, Calif., Mayor Bob Foster and city Police Chief Jim McDonnell said that an "estimated 175,000 spectators are expected downtown" during the Izod IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this weekend, and "security will be heightened." McDonnell said that the department would "use intelligence gathered in the days preceding the Grand Prix and throughout the Grand Prix to their advantage." Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President & CEO Jim Michaelian said that the bombings in Boston "haven't affected ticket sales, but it is still to be determined if the tragedy will affect attendance." He added that security procedures are "not finalized." Michaelian "urged race fans to allow for extra time getting into the event." The schedules for concerts, races and other events associated with the race have "not been changed" (Long Beach PRESS-TELEGRAM, 4/17). Meanwhile, in Detroit, Mike Brudenell notes organizers of the IndyCar Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit, which will be held May 31-June 2, likely will be "extra diligent and aggressive in their public safety approach this year." It is unknown whether "body and bag searches at entry points to the 2.3-mile raceway at Belle Isle course or on buses leaving downtown for the track will be conducted." Race GM Charles Burns said that between now and event on Belle Isle, he will "continue to be in contact with the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and Detroit police and fire authorities on how best to serve the safety of race fans at and around the track" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 4/17). Burns: "We're going to have to look at all angles of the situation and the authorities will make an assessment, along with us, and then we'll go from there" (DETROIT NEWS, 4/17).
COTA CONFIDENT OF PLANS IN PLACE: In Austin, John Maher notes the Circuit of the Americas yesterday was "getting some fresh paint," and signs for title sponsor Red Bull were going up as the track is "gearing up for its first MotoGP race this weekend." With many of the racing teams planning to arrive today, there "remained plenty of details for circuit officials to attend to in the next few days," but after the attacks in Boston, security measures were "an increased concern." COTA Senior VP/Operations & GM Mel Harder said, "We feel like we have a solid plan, but we’re constantly in touch with city, state and federal officials to update our plans and get information. We do have a system in place and if we need to make adjustments, we are certainly prepared to do that." An Austin Police Department spokesperson said that the department was "on heightened alert and taking additional precautions for all events this weekend, including MotoGP." COTA VP/Public & Media Relations Julie Loignon said that fans "attending practice and qualifying, as well as Sunday’s race, would be required to pass through security checkpoints, just as they did for the circuit’s inaugural Formula One race in November." COTA officials "expect a three-day crowd of 100,000 fans for MotoGP" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 4/17).