Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix In Jeopardy As Contract Expires5
The future of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is uncertain as the auto racing event’s contract with the Belle Isle State Park expires after this year’s running. Recent years have seen area residents, concerned with the environmental impacts of the race and frustrated with its lengthy build-up and tear-down, staging protests and mailing letters to city officials in an attempt to put an end to the annual event, which this year takes place from June 1st through the 3rd.
If not on the island of Belle Isle, it’s unclear just where, exactly, the races could be held. Race Chairman Bud Denker says that neither the Detroit city airport nor the former Michigan State Fairgrounds are viable options. He and other organizers hope to renew their deal with the state of Michigan, but no deal has yet been made.
Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones says she continues to receive correspondence from area residents less-than-thrilled that the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is still ongoing. One letter read in part: “I am hoping we do not renew the Grand Prix… These are people I suspect never go to Belle Isle aside from the Grand Prix.”
Jones said that in essence, most complainants are “concerned about not being able to ride through Belle Isle because of all the fences.”
Ultimately, the decision of whether to renew the contract is up to the state, and not the city. The Belle Isle property is owned by the city of Detroit, but managed by the state of Michigan – an arrangement that came about while the city was still under an emergency manager as it attempted to navigate bankruptcy. The Belle Isle State Park is the most-visited state park in Michigan, counting 4.2-million visitors in 2017. Some 90k of those are thought to have been Grand Prix attendees.
(Source: Detroit Free Press)
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Sure kill off one of the more desirable reasons to go to a Detroit and spend money they dearly need.
Move it to Cleveland they would love it. Just watch for the chuck holes.
I’m suspecting more underlying issues here.
Ford is entering Formula E in a couple of years. I think they want Belle Isle reserved for a gas-free Racing event around 2021. GM and FCA will probably join them in a “Renewal Festival” designed to give Detroit a whole new lease on life with electric car manufacturing. They want the whole world to see Detroit rise from the ashes and become a World Leading engineering and manufacturing base. Something every American could support.
But Michigan State Republicans don’t like that idea. MSR’s want Detroit to fail again and again and again, because it feeds their national parties’ need for a boogeyman.
Detroit – dump the Republicans in Lansing and take your new life for yourselves!!!
I recall the days when the race ran on city streets downtown. It created a sense of excitement and vibrancy that were lost when the venue moved to the island. Restaurants, bars and hotels came alive. Sure it’s a disruption but let’s face it, a disruption in downtown Detroit is probably a good thing !
Not a good venue and a lot of public opposition to it due to the VERY long setup and teardown times during prime visiting months. Let’s just have Indycar go back to MIS which was an awesome venue and the scene of some of its best races.
Chevy volt, to look like, a Prius, is a win lose.I’m looking for diverse styling for 2019 year model ..”deviate Volt from prius” or just quit , ,