INDIANAPOLIS – The Verizon IndyCar Series and southern California race fans got some great news overnight, as the Toyota Grand Prix will remain on the series schedule for years to come. The series was coming up on an end to the current contract, which got some groups wanting to replace the prestigious race with a more expensive Formula One event for 2019 and beyond.
There was an asinine report from a bitter person in the southern California market that F1 could be feasible for the city of Long Beach. Luckily, that was just plain hogwash and pure trash. The report was trying to sway readers to his complete idiocy of thinking by a manipulative report of lies and deceit.
F1 ran on the streets of Long Beach for eight years from 1976-1983, but IndyCar racing took to the course beginning in 1984 and have been coming to Long Beach every year since.
The race is annually one of the highlights on the entire IndyCar schedule. It ranks right up there with the Indianapolis 500 as prestige and one that every driver wants to win at. So, when it came out that the city hired a firm to look into which direction they want to go in for 2019 and beyond, F1 vs. IndyCar, open wheel fans here stateside became worried that the series may be losing one of their biggest and longest supporting races.
Luckily, the news came out on Tuesday night that the series not only will be coming to Long Beach in 2018 and 2019, but there’s a new “long-term” deal in the works for the best open wheel series in the world to remain in its rightful place in April.
“We are delighted in the action the Long Beach City Council this evening in voting unanimously to authorize City management to enter into a new long-term agreement with the Grand Prix Association starting in 2019,” said Jim Michaelian, President & CEO of Grand Prix Association of Long Beach on Tuesday’s Long Beach City Council Vote. “That means that there will be a continuation of the Verizon IndyCar Series as well as all of the accompanying events that have become such an attractive part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend for many years to come. We also want to thank the City staff for the meticulous way in which they evaluated the various option that were submitted. The Grand Prix Association has been an integral part of the fabric of the Long Beach community for 43 years and we look forward to continuing that relationship into the future.”
Part of the statement on Monday revealed that the 44th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place on April 13-15, 2018. Without the official 2018 schedule out yet, this at least gives us another date on that schedule that we know of.
This is a huge win for IndyCar, the city of Long Beach and their citizens. F1 would have cost millions upon millions more than IndyCar would have. The sanctioning fee would have been astronomical compared to IndyCar. The layout would have had to have been changed to support F1’s minimum distance of a track. The course would have needed to have been upgraded to support F1’s crazy limitations. The paddock and everything would have needed to be upgraded, as well as the street surface, walls, etc. We’re talking a huge cost to the city and their taxpayers.
Who do you think pays for all of that to be done?
Yes, you the citizens of Long Beach.
Then, to pay for that, the track promoters would have to charge a much bigger cost for tickets to help foot the bill. More money out of taxpayers pockets for upgrades that aren’t needed for IndyCar to remain there, higher ticket prices for the fans and less access to the drivers. That’s a lose-lose. That’s reality. That’s why it was “unanimous” to keep IndyCar for years to come.