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Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Might Have to Leave Belle Isle

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Detroit Grand Prix pace car Corvette

GM executive Mark Reuss poses with the Corvette Z06 used as the pace car in 2015’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix

The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix is in danger of losing its home on Belle Isle.

The race’s contract ended in June after this year’s event. If that contract isn’t renewed, the race doesn’t have another site lined up.

Many residents will be happy if the race exits Belle Isle. They’ve registered frequent complaints about the noise, disruption, and environmental effects the event brings to their island in the Detroit River.

Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix organizers say they’ve already made considerable efforts to address these complaints, and point out that the event delivers a big boost to the local economy every year. However, they’re willing to do more.


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Hunter Reay Detroit Grand Prix

Ryan Hunter-Reay races in a Chevrolet at the 2012 Detroit Grand Prix
Photo: Nic Redhead

Earlier this month, Grand Prix organizers presented their proposals for a new contract on Belle Isle. It would extend the race’s presence on the island for another three years. To alleviate residents’ concerns, it would also increase annual payments to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, contribute money so the race area could be better utilized the rest of the year, and reduce community disruption by cutting the time it takes to “load in” and “load out” the race.

Ultimately, the race’s future will be up to the island advisory committee and the DNR, which is in charge of Belle Isle oversight. The agency’s decision on the new contract could arrive on Aug. 2.

Since 1982, Detroit has hosted 29 Grand Prix events. The race first moved to Belle Isle in 1992. It was held there until 2001 and again in 2007 and 2008. In 2012, the race came back to the island in 2012 as a Chevrolet-sponsored event.


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News Source: Detroit Free Press (one and two)