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IndyCar puts St Pete behind closed doors, but race still threatened

IndyCar has cancelled general admission for the series’ 2020 opening round scheduled to take place at St. Petersburg on Sunday as the US contends with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg was given the all clear earlier this week, but city mayor Rick Kriseman admitted the rampant COVID-19 crisis had since compelled him to revise his outlook on the race.

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“The World Health Organization has since called this a global pandemic,” Kriseman told the tampa Bay Times.

“My most important job is public safety and health. It is for that reason that we are cancelling general attendance at the (Grand Prix).

“We are working with the promoters and IndyCar and will have more announcements later as to whether the race itself will run.

“I don’t make this decision lightly. I strongly believe life must carry on, as best we are able. But the reality now is that’s just not possible.

“I am disappointed. I love this race. But I love this city and our residents more.”

In Florida, Miami-Dade County has put a temporary ban on mass gatherings, a decision that has forced NASCAR to run its its March 22 race at an empty oval at Homestead.

Also, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring has been postponed until November by the WEC due to travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver took the un precedented decision to suspend the league’s 2019-20 season until further notice, a move that has logically put pressure on sporting event organizers nationwide to act equally responsibly.

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