By: Tanner Watkins
March 13, 2020 | 10:30 AM
We have seen it with some of the world’s largest sporting events this week – first an announcement to remove spectators from the venue, then a full-on postponement or cancellation. The Masters, March Madness, U.S. professional leagues, and now, the NTT IndyCar Series’ first four rounds of the 2020 season.
After relaying a shortened schedule and banning spectators from the Florida race on Thursday, news has emerged that the event has officially been canceled and will not be run this year – as was previously stated.
In addition to the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg’s cancellation, the following events have also been canceled: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park, Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (announced Thursday) and the AutoNation INDYCAR Challenge at Circuit of the Americas.
At the open on Friday, IndyCar and NASCAR were the only major professional sporting events scheduled in the United States for this weekend. Less than four business hours into the day, both have canceled their events and will not be racing in any capacity.
INDYCAR has since released a statement confirming the announcement, which was first made public by Adam Stern:
“After careful consideration, including regular communication with our event promoters, health officials, and the city administrations in our respective race markets regarding COVID-19, we have made the decision to cancel all NTT INDYCAR Series events through April. This begins with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg which was to begin today and run through Sunday, March 15 and continues through the AutoNation INDYCAR Challenge at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas which was to take place April 24-26.
“Although we are disappointed to delay the start to this INDYCAR season and will miss our incredible fans who support us each year in St. Petersburg, Birmingham, Long Beach, and Austin, the safety of our fans, participants, staff, partners, and media will always remain our top priority. We will continue to coordinate with public health experts and government officials as we determine the appropriate plans for resuming our schedule.”
We will continue to update this story as more news emerges.
Header image by Chris Graythen/GETTY Images.