NASCAR: Chicago residences up in arms over NASCAR intrusion

On Thursday afternoon, the sheer scale of the permit issued by the Chicago Park District to NASCAR was unveiled.

The permit encompasses almost all of Grant Park for a whopping 14 days in the middle of next summer.

Other than the footprint occupied by Millennium Park, the rest of Grant Park will be NASCAR’s for two straight weeks. From June 22 through July 5, 2023, NASCAR will have from Roosevelt all the way up to Randolph, and from Michigan Avenue east to Lake Shore Drive for “non-race activities.”

The park district sold NASCAR the permit for $500,000, plus commissions on concessions, merch and ticket sales.

“As with other large events permitted on park property, the District will work with the organizers and the community over the coming months to ensure its success for the city,” Michele Lemons with the Chicago Park District said.

While Mayor Lori Lightfoot has touted the race as a way to boost post-pandemic tourism and sales tax revenue, not everyone’s happy about the street-race. Downtown Alderman Brendan Reilly said he and his constituents were never consulted.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot defunded the police and homicides are rampant in the city. Did NASCAR have to grease her pockets to get the race approved?  Likely in a big way.

In addition, the group Friends of the Parks said in a statement, “A NASCAR race through Grant Park and along our lakefront doesn’t match Friends of the Parks’ vision for Chicago’s parks. Unfortunately, we are not immediately aware of legal levers to stop it.”

The planned street race is the first of its kind and expected to happen in Grant Park for the next three summers. Sources at the Park District say they are going to be working with NASCAR to ensure that public access to the park during that two-week period is “minimally impacted.” FOX32



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