CHEVROLET DETROIT GRAND PRIX ORGANIZERS SHARE VISION FOR 2023 AND BEYOND
When the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear returns to its original home on the streets of Downtown Detroit in 2023, the event will connect with the neighborhoods and businesses in the Motor City like never before.
The Grand Prix will celebrate one more action-packed weekend at Belle Isle Park, June 3-5, 2022. Organizers confirmed on Tuesday that a new era of the Detroit Grand Prix will begin June 2-4, 2023 when the event will bring a dynamic street-festival atmosphere to the Motor City. The new home of the Grand Prix will feature three full days of activities on some of Detroit’s most popular and active Downtown areas, including racing on a new 1.7-mile,10-turn street circuit along Jefferson Avenue, Bates Street, Atwater Street, St. Antoine, Franklin Street and Rivard.
The Grand Prix will provide unprecedented access to attendees with more than half of the event’s footprint along Jefferson Avenue and the Detroit Riverfront open free of charge. Grand Prix visitors will be able to enjoy complimentary access to the main fan activation areas at the event, including Spirit Plaza, Hart Plaza as well as the Riverwalk. Fans will be welcomed in these key areas that will feature live music, food, games and displays all weekend long, without the purchase of a Grand Prix ticket.
The unique design of the new Downtown Grand Prix layout will have minimal impact on traffic flow in Downtown Detroit as the track will not extend north of Jefferson Avenue. In fact, the transition to the new home of the Grand Prix in 2023 is expected to help boost the local economy, with increased foot traffic from event attendees for Downtown businesses and visitors helping to fill the local hotels, restaurants and bars throughout race weekend. A recent economic study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Sports Management department with the Center for Sports Venues and Real Estate Development revealed that the transition of the Grand Prix to Downtown Detroit is expected to generate an estimated $77 million in total spending for the region, representing a 20% increase from the last Grand Prix economic study conducted in 2017.
The Grand Prix’s proposal to return the event to its original home on the streets of Detroit was unanimously approved by Detroit City Council on November 3. Since September, Grand Prix organizers have met with over 1,000 people throughout the city, listening to feedback and ideas on the Downtown relocation from Detroit residents, business leaders, neighborhood groups, city officials and more. The enthusiasm and energy for the return of the Grand Prix to Downtown Detroit across all of these diverse groups has opened up new opportunities for engagement with the event for the future. Grand Prix organizers have already started planning neighborhood activities and events in Detroit that will begin in 2022, including youth art and culture opportunities, spirit competitions, STEM educational initiatives through racing and more.
The Grand Prix will work to create an even deeper level of engagement with Detroit neighborhoods. In the coming months, the event will be working to connect some of its key founding partners to neighborhoods across the city to support specific programming and projects. This community connection will extend throughout the year with unique experiences and engagement opportunities for city residents during Grand Prix weekend.
In addition to its enhanced community outreach, the Grand Prix will continue its local charitable efforts while it transitions to Downtown in 2023. With the help of its partners, the Grand Prix has helped make more than $13.5 million in improvements to its current home on Belle Isle since 2007. More than $5 million in additional funds have been raised for the Belle Isle Conservancy over the last six years through the annual Grand Prixmiere Gala hosted on race weekend.
Grand Prix organizers will continue to host the successful Grand Prixmiere in the future and have pledged to extend its support for Belle Isle and the Belle Isle Conservancy. As part of its continued efforts, the Grand Prix will contribute a portion of the funds raised at the annual charity gala to ensure that the iconic Scott Fountain on Belle Isle will be up and running for the start of race weekend each year and the historic fountain will flow throughout the summer for park visitors to enjoy.
The Grand Prix also plans to contribute to several other Detroit-area charities in 2023 through the funds raised at the Grand Prixmiere moving forward. On Tuesday, Denker announced that the first organization that the event will contribute to annually is the Detroit Public Safety Foundation (DPSF). Founded to support the efforts of Detroit’s first responders, the DPSF helps provide programs that make Detroit a safer place to live, work and visit.
“We appreciate all that Detroit’s first responders do every day to help keep our city safe,” said Denker. “We would not be able to bring the Grand Prix back downtown and host a world-class event in the Motor City without the help of the Detroit Police Department and the Detroit Fire Department and we feel it’s so important to support everything they do year-round through the important work of the Detroit Public Safety Foundation.”
The Detroit Grand Prix began as a Formula One race on the streets of Motor City in 1982. Formula One raced annually in Detroit from 1982-1988. In 1989, the Detroit Grand Prix welcomed Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) as its primary series and the first INDYCAR races were hosted on the Detroit street circuit from 1989-1991. In 1992, the Grand Prix transitioned to Belle Isle with INDYCAR races on the island annually through 2001. After a six-year hiatus, the Grand Prix returned to Belle Isle thanks to the vision of Roger Penske and through the Downtown Detroit Partnership. Following successful events in 2007 and 2008, the Grand Prix paused for a few years due to the national recession and returned in 2012 with support from General Motors and Chevrolet serving as the event’s title sponsor. The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear was hosted each summer on Belle Isle since 2012, before the global pandemic forced the cancellation of the event in 2020. After returning in 2021, the Grand Prix will celebrate its final event on Belle Isle, June 3-5, 2022, before returning to its home in Downtown Detroit in 2023.