After bringing motorsports back to the Motor City with successful Labor Day weekend events in 2007 and 2008, the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix was postponed this year due to the difficult economic climate in southeast Michigan and across the state. With the continuing economic challenges faced by the region, officials have postponed the event for next year with the hope of bringing back the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix in 2011.
“We had hoped that the economic environment would allow the Grand Prix to return to Belle Isle in 2010," said Bud Denker, Event Chairman of the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. “Unfortunately, this continues to be a challenging time to secure sponsorship to produce a world-class sporting event. We remain committed to the future of the race and we are hopeful that the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will return in the summer of 2011."
The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix brought tremendous benefit to Belle Isle Park and to the region when the event returned world-class auto racing back to the Motor City for the first time in more than six years in 2007. Both the 2007 and 2008 races established themselves as one of Detroit’s most popular summertime events, featuring both the American Le Mans Series and the IndyCar Series.
Over $7 million in infrastructure improvements were made to Belle Isle following the return of the Grand Prix, including the paving of roadways, repairing or replacing damaged lighting and drainage, landscaping, the renovation of the Belle Isle Casino and Scott Fountain and the installation of pedestrian bridges, children’s playgrounds and irrigation systems on the island.
With crowd estimates topping 100,000 people in both 2007 and 2008, the event also helped boost the local economy. According to joint studies conducted by the event and the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau (DMCVB), the Grand Prix generated nearly $53 million in economic impact for metropolitan Detroit in 2007 and over $55.2 million in 2008.
Further information on the future of the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will be found at the event’s official web site, www.detroitgp.com.