St. Petersburg Council Extends Honda Grand Prix Contract Through '17
The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will “roar on despite complaints about barriers and fences on city streets,” according to Mark Puente of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. The City Council “unanimously approved a three-year contract extension with race officials Thursday that will keep the Grand Prix” in the city through ‘17. Leaders at the Mahaffey Theater and the Salvador Dalí Museum “wanted the city to renegotiate a shorter time that their venues could be penned up behind concrete and steel barriers.” The contract “allows 68 days for setup and removal.” Puente notes the Dalí museum is “inside the race course and sealed off from the rest of downtown for more than a month.” Several downtown residents before the council's vote Thursday “complained about the barriers and the noise associated with the race.” Council member Bill Dudley said that the “bickering sends a bad message to race officials.” Dudley: "Indy Car is watching. There are people in line waiting to take our spot. … Forty-five days is very reasonable." The race's owner “pledged that the firm will work to reduce the time" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 6/22).