The Detroit Grand Prix will return to downtown from 2023


DETROIT (AP) – Detroit City Council on Wednesday approved a contract to return the Detroit Grand Prix to downtown from its current home on an island in the middle of the Detroit River.

Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Inc. told council members in September that it wanted to run the IndyCar race from 2023 to 2025 on a 1.7 mile track along city streets instead of Belle Isle.

Next year’s race will still be held in June in the popular Island Park, east of the city center.

Race representatives have spent the past five weeks in meetings and listening sessions with Detroit residents, business leaders, community groups and leaders elected to return the race to downtown, the Detroit Grand Prix said in a statement.

“The positive reaction and enthusiasm we have seen from the community about the return of the Grand Prix to the city center reinforces our belief that this relocation will bring a significant benefit to the city, its residents and our businesses. local for the future, ”the statement said. .

Open-wheel cars raced in Detroit for the first time in 1982, when Formula 1 raced through the streets of downtown before the event moved to Phoenix in 1988. The now defunct CART series took place in Belle Isle from 1992 to 2001.

The IndyCar series started racing at Belle Isle in 2007.

A city council resolution said the race has drawn 95,000 fans on at least seven occasions with more than one million people watching on television, according to The Detroit News.

City executive director of policy Irvin Corley Jr. told council members the University of Michigan is preparing an updated study on the economic benefits of returning downtown racing.

An early report from the university indicated a 20% increase in economic benefits with running downtown, Corley said.

“They predict an impact of $ 77 million on the city of Detroit and more specifically, businesses from downtown Detroit could receive around $ 10 million in spending,” Corley said.

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