The broadcast schedule for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is out. Notable is the delayed television broadcast of qualifying. Qualifying will be shown live on NBC Gold for those who have purchased it. This qualifying sesion will be just the second traditional knock out qualifying leading the Fast Six this year. I have missed the Fast Six format, although I have enjoyed the way the grid is set for the double headers. The broadcast schedule:
Oct24 Saturday Practice 10:55 AM – 12:25 PM ET
Oct24 Saturday Qualifications (Live) 3:05 – 4:20 PM ET
Oct24 Saturday Qualifications (Delay) 8:00 – 9:00 PM ET
Oct25 Sunday Warmup 10:40 – 11:10 AM ET
Oct25 Sunday Pre-Race 2:00 – 2:30 PM ET
Oct25 Sunday Race 2:30 – 4:30 PM ET
Yesterday afternoon, Green Savoree, the race promoter, put a limited number of tickets on sale. the event has a 20,000 fan limit per day. Ticket holders who had seats for the original March date received an email yesterday with a reassigned seat. In my case, I am in the same grandstand, same section, but just four rows lower than my regular location. I even retained the same seat number.
Whenj the March race was cancelled the promoters gave ticketholders the opportunity to get a credit for the 2021 race. i know several fans who took advantage of that offer. Some were unhappy because there was no cash refund option. I’m disappointed that Green Savoree did not extend a similar deferral until 2021 option to those who kept their tickets, but who cannot for one reason or another go to this race. I have chosen not to attend because of the pandemic. I know of another fan, who I believe has been to every St. Pete race, also in this situation.
I understand this promoter has been hit the hardest by the schedule upheaval this year. They have lost two races entirely, Toronto and Portland, were allowed just 6,000 fans per day at Mid Ohio, and were in danger of losing this event completely as well. It is a sham that the good will of the fans takes a backseat to their bottom line.