IndyCar/IMSA: Preparation for Acura GP of Long Beach begins this week (Update)

Southern California’s 200-MPH Beach Party is just around the corner! Construction begins tomorrow on the city streets comprising the world-famous Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach race circuit in preparation for the April 14-16 race weekend.

Over the next 50 days, more than 2,400 concrete blocks that anchor the safety system around the 1.97-mile, 11-turn racing circuit will be placed along with 14 large grandstands that line the racecourse. More than 188,000 fans attended the race in 2022, returning the event’s attendance to pre-pandemic levels.

Today, Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President and CEO Jim Michaelian, newly elected Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson and LiUNA Local 1309 Business Manager Mario Suales commemorated the start of track construction in what will become Turn 10 of the race course in the Long Beach Arena parking lot.

(L-R): Andrew Mayorga of LiUNA Local 1309, Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson, Grand Prix Association President & CEO Jim Michaelian and LiUNA Business Manager Mario Suales were on-hand to commemorate the start of construction on the iconic Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach racetrack. Credit: Liezl Estipona/City of Long Beach.

“Coming off a very successful event last year, we are looking at providing an even more attractive weekend in April,” said Michaelian. “We will soon be announcing some exciting additions to our schedule including the Saturday night concert, inductees into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame and a possible preview event during race week.”

“Every year, our city has the unique opportunity to welcome more than 180,000 people to our downtown, support our local restaurants, engage with our beautiful waterfront and see what makes Long Beach so very special,” said Richardson. “I look forward to welcoming the Grand Prix back to Long Beach for its 48th year to continue this incredible tradition of community and highlighting the prosperity of our city.”

In total, Grand Prix Director of Operations Dwight Tanaka, LIUNA and Grand Prix Operations staff will put in more than 33,000 working hours installing the safety system – more than 14 million pounds of concrete blocks, four miles of fencing and 17,000 bolted-together tires – along with grandstands, six pedestrian bridges and eight giant vision boards for full-circuit TV coverage.

Tanaka’s staff will also install 45 high-end hospitality suites, three hospitality clubs, tents, electrical lines and equipment, phones, porta-johns, trash containers and a myriad of other items around the track.

The eastern portion of the racetrack (Turns 9, 10 and 11) will also be used for Round One of the eight-event 2022 Formula Drift season April 7-8, and part of the circuit will be used as a running course for the Grand Prix Foundation of Long Beach’s 5th Annual G & M Grand Prix 5K Run on Sunday morning, April 2.

All businesses along the race circuit, which includes Shoreline Drive, Aquarium Way and Pine Ave., will remain open during construction of the racetrack.

The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be headlined by the third round of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, as well as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. In addition, the weekend will include the Super Drift Challenge under the lights on Friday and Saturday nights, the SPEED/UTV Stadium Super Trucks, Historic F1 Challenge and the Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America.

Fans can select and pay for their Grand Prix seats, parking and paddock passes online at Ticket orders can also be placed by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 827-7333.  Also featured on is the latest Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach news and racetrack information, photos and ongoing announcements of special race week activities.

Ticket prices range from $38 for a Friday General Admission ticket to $175 for a three-day ticket that includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seating in grandstand upper levels.  Pre-paid parking packages are also available, along with handicapped seating, NTT INDYCAR SERIES Paddock passes, Super Photo tickets and a wide variety of hospitality packages.

Fans can follow the 2023 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook (GrandPrixLB), Twitter @GPLongBeach (#AGPLB) and Instagram @GPLongBeach.

February 20, 2023 

City and race officials will ceremonially place the first concrete block wall downtown on Wednesday morning, Feb. 22, kicking off construction for the 48th annual Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

After the ceremony, crews will descend on Shoreline Drive, Pine Avenue and the other streets around the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center to build the course for the Grand Prix, which will take place in April.

Then, on Thursday evening, the Committee of 300 — the race’s volunteer organization — will host its kickoff party at Outback Steakhouse, just off Shoreline Drive.

The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will take over downtown from April 14 to 16, culminating in the IMSA race on Saturday and the NTT IndyCar race on Sunday.

It takes 50 days to put up all 2400 concrete blocks, and the safety fence on both sides of the 11-turn, nearly 2-mile course. Then there are all the grandstands, hospitality tents and other amenities that host the 180,000 or so fans that visit the circuit over the three-day weekend.

Pine Ave Paving Project Completed

South Pine Avenue, between Shoreline Drive and Seaside Way in downtown Long Beach, has been repaved ahead of the April 14-16 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The improved segment of Pine Ave. comprises Turns 6 through 8 of the iconic racecourse.

The project, a financial partnership between the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach and City of Long Beach, was completed Friday, Jan. 13 by All-American Asphalt, whose workers are members of the LiUNA Local 1309 union.

“The completion of the repaving of the racecourse on Pine Ave. is a significant step in maintaining the Grand Prix circuit as one of the premier street courses in the world,” said Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President and CEO Jim Michaelian. “This one segment needed an upgrade and was achieved through a true public-private partnership with contributions from both the Grand Prix Association and the City of Long Beach. Also, thanks to All-American Asphalt for their expert assistance on this project. Now we look forward to hosting the teams and drivers on this improved circuit when the 48th Acura Grand Prix comes to Long Beach in April.”

“The City of Long Beach has partnered with the Grand Prix organization for several decades and we are happy to provide the infrastructure necessary for a successful Grand Prix event,” said Eric Lopez, Director of Public Works at the City of Long Beach. “I’d like to thank our City team for their work on completing the Grand Prix repaving project as this is one of many projects on our list to improve the conditions of our streets, curbs, and alleys across the city.”