Final Numbers Reveal Successful Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix
The final numbers are in and they reveal a very successful return of world-class auto racing to the Motor City last weekend at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.
With the beautiful waterfronts of both Detroit and Windsor, Canada showcased across the globe through national and international television broadcasts, some new high-water marks for attendance were established June 1-3 as Belle Isle hosted its first Grand Prix in nearly four years.
Despite a cold and rainy Friday on PNC Bank Free Prix Day, attendance was solid over the three-day weekend as over 95,000 people visited Belle Isle. On Sunday alone, more than 45,000 fans attended the day’s activities as nearly 30,000 reserved grandstand seats were sold out that morning.
The Grand Prix experienced the highest sales date in its history on Saturday as the furious activity accounted for more than 10% of all ticket sales this year.
With huge crowds on Saturday and Sunday – the two paid ticket attendance days – the final count revealed a 22% increase in overall ticket sales compared to the last Grand Prix event on Belle Isle in 2008.
“The 2012 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle was a huge success for the city of Detroit, our region and the state of Michigan. It became a galvanizing, watershed event that brought together public and private communities, as well as international attendees, in ways no one could have imagined,” said Bud Denker, Event Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. “While Friday’s PNC Bank Free Prix Day crowds were impacted by inclement weather, it did not stop the over 700 Detroit Public School students from enjoying a truly unique experience at the Grand Prix, thanks to PNC Bank, and the crowds on Saturday and Sunday were unbelievable. We could not have been more pleased with the support we received for the return of the Grand Prix.”
With five races featuring four different series competing over the course of the weekend and a premiere entertainment lineup paired with family-friendly activities in the Meijer Family Fun Zone, there was plenty to do and see at the Grand Prix.
More than 45 different corporations also supported the event. “We thank Chevrolet, shopautoweek.com and all of our valued partners. Without their support we would not have been able to bring the Grand Prix back to Belle Isle," said Denker.
“Anyone who knows Bud Denker, Roger Penske and the Penske Corporation knew that Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix was going to be a success,” said Mark Reuss, President of General Motors North America. “I was on Belle Isle throughout the weekend and witnessed first-hand the attention to detail and the incredible job Bud and his staff did in producing a top-notch event. The fans I talked to during the weekend all were excited that racing was back in Detroit, and all enjoyed the experience.”
The Grand Prixmiere charity gala, held on Friday evening, June 1, at the GM Renaissance Center also was a huge success as the event helped generate over $250,000 for the Belle Isle Conservancy.
Transportation on and off the island was seamless during the course of the weekend. With no public parking available to race attendees, the over 100 transportation shuttles and first-time Grand Prix ferry service to and from Belle Isle were very effective.
Perhaps the highlight of the race weekend, once again, was the efforts of the over 1,000 volunteers that worked the race. The friendly and helpful Grand Prix ambassadors made sure to provide top-notch service to event attendees throughout the weekend.