Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Reveals Economic Impact

Re-establishing itself as one of Detroit’s most popular and premiere summertime events, the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix generated nearly $53 million in direct economic impact for the region in 2007.

Featuring the exotic sports cars of the American Le Mans Series and the sleek open-wheel machines of the IndyCar Series, the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix attracted more that 100,000 people over the course of the three-day international event – August 31-September 2, 2007. The holiday weekend celebration represented the return of world-class auto racing to the Motor City with the first event run on the Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit in more than six years. It was also a highlight of what was considered one of the most exciting weekends in Detroit history. “3 Days in the D" took place Labor Day weekend and consisted of the Grand Prix, the Detroit International Jazz Festival and Oakland County’s Arts, Beats & Eats celebration.

Working in conjunction with the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau (DMCVB), which conducted extensive research both during the Grand Prix and in the weeks following the event, race officials proudly announced the findings of the economic impact study on Wednesday.

According to figures compiled by the DMCVB, the Grand Prix event produced an overall economic impact of $52,956,630 for the metropolitan Detroit region in 2007. The study also revealed the Grand Prix helped attract visitors to the area as 28% of event attendees came to Detroit from outside the local tri-county region and 56% of those visitors came from outside of Michigan.

“The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix proved to be an awesome event for metro Detroit," said Larry Alexander, President and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The motorsports festival gave a tremendous boost to our local economy, it brought Detroit international attention and exposure through media coverage and its race broadcasts seen worldwide and the Grand Prix was a key component to the ‘3 Days in the D’ celebration."

In addition to the economic impact numbers revealed in the study, Detroit Belle Grand Prix, Inc., a subsidiary of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, also made over $5.5 million in infrastructure improvements on Belle Isle in 2007. These enhancements included the renovation of the historic Belle Isle Casino, the refurbishment of Scott Fountain, installation of new pedestrian bridges, repairing damaged lighting and drainage systems, creation of a new children’s playground funded by Firestone and new picnic tables and landscaping on the island. The event also generated $100,000 for maintenance and improvements on Belle Isle in ’07 and all net proceeds from every Grand Prix event will be dedicated to a fund for future enhancement projects and the preservation of Belle Isle.

“We’re proud that the Grand Prix and the Downtown Detroit Partnership were able to make such a significant economic impact in 2007 and the event helped draw so many people to our region to showcase all that Detroit has to offer," said Bud Denker, Event Chairman of the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

“Our continuing goal is to help restore and preserve Belle Isle and assist in the revitalization of downtown Detroit and the Riverfront area. We made great strides this year and we’re already looking forward to raising the bar even higher on Labor Day weekend 2008."

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