Next year’s Long Beach GP weekend will be April 7-9, 2017

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LONG BEACH, Calif. –  It’s not very often that a jumbotron breaks news – or reveals news that may have come out a few days earlier – but a jumbotron did so today at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Next year’s Long Beach weekend will be April 7-9, 2017.

It moves up a week because Easter Sunday is April 16, and that’s a traditional off weekend in the motorsports world.

And then when you check the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center website, those dates are on there, as well.

Quite what events are on the Long Beach weekend beyond IndyCar and at least one sports car component remain to be seen. A schedule hole will open up with the departure of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, and there’s been a bit of wondering this weekend why the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series – a Long Beach staple – isn’t here this year.

It’s never too early to start thinking about the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series calendar and this provides another bit of a clue as to how the start might be shaping up.

The thinking according to the Arizona Republic and AZCentralSports.com reporter Michael Knight is that the Phoenix date – which was April 2 this year – will move to the end of the month because the NCAA Final Four is in Phoenix on Saturday, April 1 and Monday, April 3.

St. Petersburg is locked into March 9-12, 2017. That race is also set for March 8-11, 2018 and the Firestone title sponsorship for the race is locked in through then.