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DATE News (chronologically)
03/18/20
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imsa
Postponed Acura GP of Long Beach to be rescheduled for September (6th Update)
AR1.com finds a suitable date for Long Beach to be rescheduled.
Race is now officially dead for 2020.

UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. The IndyCar race in Long Beach, California, won’t be held this year.

Officials with the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach said Wednesday they pursued the possibility of rescheduling the popular race to a later date, but “trying to reassemble all the elements that have made the Long Beach event such a success does not appear feasible for 2020.”

Next year’s date will be April 18. Ticket holders can either receive a credit that will apply to the same level of admission for next year or receive a full refund.

“Over the past few days, we have actively pursued the possibility of rescheduling the Acura Grand Prix to a later date this year,” Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association, said in a statement.

“We are very disappointed that we were unable to put something together for all our loyal fans and valued clients, but trying to reassemble all the elements that have made the Long Beach event such a success does not appear feasible for 2020.”



03/14/20 “We’re going to make every effort we can and the city is very supportive, as is the convention center, to see if we can find a replacement date in the fall of this year,” Michaelian said.

“It isn’t just a matter of finding availability, although that’s the first criteria,” Michaelian said. “But then you have to go back to the various sanctioning bodies (IndyCar, support races) and see about their availability and trying to put all those things together is a challenge, but it’s something we are endeavoring to undertake and to see if there’s a way we can bring the Acura Grand Prix back to Long Beach in 2020.”

Right now we’re trying to sort out exactly where we are in terms of the impact of not being able to run in April and we’re going to be gauging that over the next few days and weeks here to see exactly what the implications are,” he said. “Keep in mind a lot of the physical circuit itself has been put in place, so now we also incur the additional expense of taking that circuit down and restoring it.”

The Long Beach Convention Center is booked in early October, but is available the weekend of Sept 11-13 and Sept 25-27.  The current season ending race is Laguna Seca Sept 18-20 so, as we had stated earlier in this rumor below, the Acura GP of Long Beach could run the weekend before Laguna Seca, or become the season closer the last weekend in Sept.

IMSA races at Laguna Seca Sept 11-13 so the magic weekend for IndyCar, IMSA, IndyCar and the Convention Center is Sept 25-27.  If it is going to be rescheduled, big if, we predict that is when it will be.

And for IndyCar - imagine having a big crowd for their season finale (Long Beach), something they have not enjoyed for many many years. Mark C. reporting for AutoRacing1.com



Jim Michaelian
Jim Michaelian in search of a new date

03/14/20 As we suggested below, the best time to reschedule the Long Beach GP is the week before or after the season finale Laguna Seca IndyCar weekend. It looks Jim Michaelian agrees. 

“We’re not canceled, we’re postponed and I’m heading for a meeting right now to see if we can find a date that works,” Michaelian told Racer.  “I’ve got to get the convention center before I can do anything but we’re making every effort to see about the possibility of rescheduling the race sometime in the fall.

“Ideally it would be when both series (IndyCar and IMSA) are out here for Laguna Seca (in September). It’s not going to be easy to put Humpy Dumpy back together but I can assure you we are trying.”

“The weekend puts $33 million into the local economy and $700,000 in tax revenue and there is a real need to try and make it happen since so many conventions have already been canceled here,” continued Michaelian. “The city has indicated they’re more than willing to work with us to try and find an alternative date and they want to assist us in terms of permits and getting this thing reconvened.

“It’s not going to be easy but it’s great to have their support.”

“All the grandstands and bridges were up, plus a lot of the barriers, so we were well along in terms of preparation for the race,” said Michaelian, whose contract allows 54 days of preparation before the event and 21 days afterward to take it down. “The financial impact is significant but there’s nothing we can do about it except try and bring it back in the fall. If it doesn’t work, we’ll come back April 16-18, 2021.

“Everyone is suffering — hotels, restaurants, catering — and it’s a tough time so it would be great if we can save it.”

 

 

03/12/20 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. The Grand Prix put out this statement:

"In light of today’s announcement from the City of Long Beach prohibiting all large-scale events in the City through April 30, 2020, the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will not take place as scheduled on April 17-19. While we recognize that this is a serious inconvenience for our loyal attendees, sponsors and other clients, nevertheless, this action is consistent with our primary objective of assuring the public’s safety and well-being at our event.

"We are in conversation with the City of Long Beach, various race sanctioning bodies and the Long Beach Convention Center to discuss the viability of rescheduling this event at a later time in the year. If that is not possible, then we look forward to presenting the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 16-18, 2021. Further details about possible refunds or credits will be forthcoming."

AR1.com recommendation: Running without fans could bankrupt the event. Why not run it the week before or after Laguna Seca - Sept 13th or Sept 27th? The Long Beach Convention Center is not booked either of those two dates and it is needed for the event. The Teams will already be out West, so not much extra travel.

 

03/12/20 There is now a high probability that the Acura GP of Long Beach will run without fans or be postponed.

Last night California Governor Gavin Newsom backed the state’s Department of Public Health in recommending the cancellation of any gatherings of 250 or more people across the entire state, or any gatherings in venues too small to allow at least six feet of space between individuals. The Grand Prix fails on both measures, however it is a recommendation, not a mandate. 

GP boss Jim Michaelian told AR1.com that the City will make a decision today on whether the GP must follow the State's recommendation and there will be a press release.

Michaelian told the Long Beach Press Telegram: “We’re aware of the statement the Governor made last night, and we’re in discussions with the officials here in the city, and also with our various partners in the Grand Prix to see what our options are.

“We’ll be making a decision with regard to the Grand Prix in the near future…

“The situation is very fluid and we’re exploring the various options that are available to us under some rather challenging circumstances.

“We’ll make our decision known to everyone as soon as it’s concluded.”

AR1.com recommendation: Running without fans could bankrupt the event. Why not run it the week before or after Laguna Seca - Sept 13th or Sept 27th? The Long Beach Convention Center is not booked either of those two dates and it is needed for the event. The Teams will already be out West, so not much extra travel.



03/04/20 The President and CEO of the Acura GP of Long Beach, Jim Michaelian, gave this statement to AutoRacing1.com:

“We are actively monitoring the situation and working with the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health as well as the Centers for Disease Control to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our attendees which is our top priority. Some of the precautions we and our partners will be taking include making sure all of our attendees have access to fully stocked handwashing stations as well as alcohol-based hand sanitizer. In addition, we will ensure that frequently touched surfaces are routinely cleaned and disinfected. At this time, the threat to the general public is low and there are no changes planned to the regular operation of our event this April 17-19.”

"We have been in conversation not only with INDYCAR but also IMSA and the Long Beach Health and Human Services and our positions for now are planning for the event as usual with the addition of the precautionary measures that the various health organizations have recommended. To date, there have been no discussions about an alternative date. To do that at this time would only feed the narrative of a potential postponement of the Grand Prix which we are not contemplating at this time. Keep in mind that the LA County Declaration made it clear that they are not advocating postponement, or even conducting events without any spectators at this time. They indicated that such a position would be “extreme” under current circumstances."



The LA County Officials are weighing banning spectators from attending major sporting events in Southern, California
LA County Officials are weighing banning spectators from attending major sporting events in Southern, California

03/04/20 California governor, Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency Wednesday in response to the coronavirus outbreak releasing necessary resources. This decision comes on the heels of the state announcing its first death from the virus. There are currently 54 confirmed cases in California -- more than any other state in the country.

The state had already made preparations across multiple state agencies and departments, in light region's swift outbreak. The proclamation comes the same day as Los Angeles County officials have began discussions on the possibility of banning spectators from attending major sporting events in Southern California, such as the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“The State of California is deploying every level of government to help identify cases and slow the spread of this coronavirus,” said Gov. Newsom. “This emergency proclamation will help the state further prepare our communities and our health care system in the event it spreads more broadly.”

The county declared a health emergency Wednesday as the number of coronavirus cases in the region increased to seven.

“If at any point we think that there’s good reason for us to be worried about extensive, extensive community transmission … we may ask for modifications at large public events,” county health director Barbara Ferrer said. “This could be that games are played but there are no spectators. This could be that there are limits to how people are going to gather at public events. But I want to reassure everyone we are not there today.”

Ferrer called such measures “extreme.”

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