I'll be starting a new mini-post series called Snapshot St.Pete. These posts will be shorter than regular posts and will offer a brief glimpse at an aspect relating to Downtown St.Petersburg! Last weekend the Firestone Grand Prix of St.Petersburg took place in downtown bringing thousands of spectators and racing fans. The Grand Prix is always an interesting time in Downtown St.Petersburg because of the chaos that occurs both before, after, and during the race. Between The Dali Museum and downtown businesses there tends to be a debate as to whether the race positively impacts downtown. Some business owners claim that the race scares locals away and leads to a decline in business while others see an increase in business.
The Dali, which is located completely within the Grand Prix race course is essentially walled off in the days leading up to the race, making it extremely difficult for visitors. In the past visitors to The Dali on race day have had to purchase both a Grand Prix ticket and a ticket to The Dali. Last year, attendance to The Dali dropped so drastically that leaders decided to close the museum on future race days. While local leaders hope to find a solution for future races, both the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and The Dali will remain great assets. The race showcases St.Petersburg nationally and helps bring a different crowd downtown. The museum and the race both add great diversity to Downtown St.Pete while opening the city to national spotlight- check out the photo attached from an ESPN video, downtown looks great!
To get a recap on how the race went visit ESPN!