The Detroit Grand Prix will once again roar through the streets of downtown

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DETROIT – The Detroit City Council approved a contract Wednesday to return the Detroit Big prize in the center of his 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 take place in June at the popular Island Park, east of downtown.

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

“The positive reaction and enthusiasm we have seen in the community about the return of the Grand Prix to downtown reinforces our belief that this relocation will provide significant benefit to the city, its residents and our local businesses for the future,” it reads in the notice. .

Open wheel cars first raced in Detroit in 1982, when Formula One raced on the streets of downtown before the event moved to Phoenix in 1988. (Some footage from those Detroit races in the 1980s are shown above). The now-defunct CART series ran on Belle Isle from 1992 to 2001.

The IndyCar Series began racing at Belle Isle in 2007.

A City Council resolution stated that the race has attracted 95,000 fans on at least seven occasions with more than a million people watching on television. according to The Detroit News.

The City’s Executive Policy Manager, Irvin Corley Jr., told council members that the University of Michigan was preparing an updated study of economic benefits on the return of the race to the city center.

An initial report from the university indicated a 20% increase in financial benefit with a career in the center, Corley said.

“They are projecting a $ 77 million impact on the city of Detroit, and specifically, Detroit businesses in downtown Detroit could receive about $ 10 million in spending,” Corley said.

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