Long Beach Grand Prix Attendance Highest in 18 Years
The 2018 running of the weekend-long event brought in over 185,000 fans altogether.
April's Long Beach Grand Prix drew more fans in than it has since the year 2000. A cumulative crowd of over 185,000 joined for IndyCar, IMSA, Pirelli World Challenge, and more which awarded event officials another record year after an uptick in 2017, reports Racer.
GPALB CEO Jim Michaelian was perhaps most excited about the news as he explained that this continued rise in attendance bodes well for the event's future.
"Having a new, modern attendance record is really important," Michaelian explained. "We're over 185,000 and still counting, and that's the best we've had since 2000. Last year was 183,000, and that was a record, too. The best way to affirm we're back and strong was to put on the kind of event we did this year."
Michaelian continued to mention that 12 percent of ticket sales were made up of walk-in attendees which complemented the respectable pre-event numbers. He cited weather as a confidant that helped additional fans take to the city-circuit which helped boost the local economy tremendously.
This news brings about positive feedback for all series involved, but mainly IndyCar as it's gone through a significant makeover with fresh faces and a mostly-new car.
"IndyCar is going in a great direction; the cars look better than they have in a long time, and the driving style to make them go that fast is appealing. And there's a lot of good news coming out about IndyCar that has helped with the new NBC TV contract, there were six rookies to come out and see, and some popular drivers people know."
"IMSA put on a good race and has a lot of drivers and manufacturers and sponsors that people like, and from each series down; Robby Gordon's stadium trucks are big, World Challenge was great; we had drifting at night, two concerts, and we've also made a lot of effort to make the event more enjoyable for families."
The races put on by each series were equally entertaining and pivotal to their respective championship hunts, making Long Beach all the more important as a venue. Team Action Expressrecaptured the overall IMSA WeatherTech points lead while Alexander Rossi nabbed his first win of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar season. The latter now sits in front of Team Penske's Josef Newgarden in the standings with 126 points in total leading up to the IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama on April 22.