CHAMPCAR/CART: St Petersburg gives final appoval for race

Grand Prix Association of Long Beach Given Green Flag to Bring Major Motorsports Event to Streets of St. Petersburg St. Petersburg, Fla. (February 7, 2002) -- Grand Prix Association of Long Beach (GPALB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Dover ...

Grand Prix Association of Long Beach Given Green Flag to Bring Major Motorsports Event to Streets of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, Fla. (February 7, 2002) -- Grand Prix Association of Long Beach (GPALB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Dover Downs Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:DVD), has been granted unanimous approval from the St. Petersburg City Council to move ahead on a plan to bring a major motorsports event to the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. This action clears the way for the completion of an agreement between GPALB and Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART, NYSE:MPH) to bring the CART FedEx Championship Series to the second largest city in the southeast for 2003.

The agreement, which was reached following the approval on Thursday by the St. Petersburg City Council, gives GPALB the exclusive right to host the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which would be run on a temporary street circuit through downtown St. Petersburg and a portion of the Albert Whitted Airport.

"We are extremely pleased that the City Council approved the agreement, allowing us to bring a world-class racing event to St. Petersburg while showcasing the many positive attributes of this beautiful city," said Jim Michaelian, the president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach.

The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be patterned after the highly successful Long Beach event, which has been one of the preeminent motor racing events in the country for the past 28 years, and has been sanctioned by CART for 18 consecutive years. The St. Petersburg event is scheduled to attract some of the sport's most notable drivers such as Michael Andretti, Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser and others.

It has been estimated that the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach generates up to $39 million in economic impact annually, and city officials are estimating that the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will have a major economic impact on St. Petersburg.

"We have an unprecedented opportunity to attract an international audience to St. Petersburg with this new world class event coming to our community," said St. Petersburg Mayor, Rick Baker. "With the caliber of racers and race teams, this Grand Prix will be like no other held in the southeast United States."

According to Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover Downs Entertainment, Inc., the vote by the St. Petersburg City Council is another positive step in bringing a major motorsports event to one of the country's largest media markets.

"We're really excited about this opportunity to bring a major motorsports event to the 14th largest media market in the country," McGlynn said. "In addition, the possibility that the event could serve as the kickoff to the 2003 CART season makes it that much more exciting."

"On behalf of CART and all of our teams and sponsors, we are deeply grateful to the St. Petersburg City Council for allowing this exciting motor racing event to take a huge step forward in bringing the CART FedEx Championship Series to the key St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay market," said CART President and CEO, Christopher R. Pook.

This announcement follows a unanimous vote last September by the Denver (Colo.) City Council, which granted to the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach the exclusive right to annually operate a temporary circuit CART event on the city streets of Denver. The Grand Prix of Denver will make its debut later this year on Labor Day weekend.

This release contains or may contain forward-looking statements based on management's beliefs and assumptions. Such statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties which could cause results to vary materially. Please refer to the Company's SEC filings for a discussion of such factors.

Dover Downs Entertainment, Inc. operates a multi-purpose entertainment complex conducting NASCAR auto racing, pari-mutuel harness horse racing, pari-mutuel wagering on simulcast harness and thoroughbred horse races and video lottery (slot) machine operations in Dover, Delaware. The Company owns and operates the Nashville Superspeedway near Nashville, Tennessee; Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis, Missouri and Memphis Motorsports Park near Memphis, Tennessee. The Company also organizes and promotes the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California and will organize and promote the Denver Grand Prix beginning in 2002.

-gpalb-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Paul Tracy , Jim Michaelian