A general view of racing during the NASCAR Cup Series Grant Park 165 at Chicago Street Course on July 07, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

F1 News: Sparse NASCAR crowds opens door for F1 in Chicago (Update)

Mayor Brandon Johnson was tight-lipped Monday on the fate of the NASCAR Chicago Street Race after a lackluster audience showing and criticism from some over the diversion of hundreds of police officers to Grant Park during the historically violent holiday weekend.

The TV viewership was down over 20% from last year. NBC got 3.87 million viewers for the Chicago Street Race (including streaming); down 20% from 4.8 million in 2023.

Speaking at a news conference at Chicago police headquarters, the soft on crime democrat mayor condemned the grim tally of more than 100 people shot in the city over the Fourth of July weekend. A city where guns are banned while all the criminals have guns. The good citizens are defenseless sacrificial lambs.

Ald. Lamont Robinson, whose 4th Ward includes parts of Grant Park, noted police resources are already stretched thin over the Fourth of July, so the city should reconsider NASCAR’s timing.

“I do think we should go back to the drawing board about the weekend,” he said. “There’s a strain on the police department for that holiday.”

Besides the flat $2 million payment to the city, NASCAR is also required to deposit $550,000 to the Chicago Park District — which must be paid 90 days before the event — plus compensate the agency with $2 per ticket sold and 20% of net food, beverage and merchandise sales.

The contract signed by the Lightfoot administration expires in 2025, and the NASCAR race is currently again scheduled for the Fourth of July weekend. The base fee for the Park District will go up to $605,000, while the cut of concessions sales will grow to 25%. However, the Park District can terminate the agreement “for convenience” at least 180 days before the event, as can NASCAR with 90 days’ notice.

July 8, 2024 

Even before attendance numbers for the 2024 NASCAR Chicago Street Race were released, one thing was clear over the weekend: watching the slow NASCAR Cup cars lumber around the streets of Chicago is an embarrassment. There were so many spins and crashes we lost count. Clearly, street racing is not a good fit for big, heavy stock cars.

–by Mark Cipolloni–

Barely anyone showed up for the music concerts, and overhead shots showed many empty seats in the small grandstands. NASCAR likely lost their shirt on this race, and the France Family is not in business to lose money.

Alex Bowman, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, crosses the finish line in front of the sparse crowd to win the NASCAR Cup Series Grant Park 165 at Chicago Street Course on July 07, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Liberty Media, who has shown an interest in bringing F1 to Chicago, must smell blood.

Related Article:  F1 Rumor: Formula 1 to add 4th USA race in Chicago

For the second consecutive year, NASCAR’s Chicago Street Race was shortened Sunday due to torrential downpours.

Sunday’s rains caused the Chicago Street Race’s premier racing event to start late and face a major in-race stoppage before ending early due to NASCAR’s curfew. It is the second time in as many years the race has been hampered by bad weather as city and NASCAR officials consider whether to bring the controversial and significant summertime event back for a third year.

The race was also delayed because of a short disruption from a small group of pro-Palestine liberal democrat protestors chaining themselves to the race barriers. They were arrested and thrown in the slammer where they belong.

Sunday’s main event kicked off with an appearance from crazed liberal democrat Mayor Brandon Johnson, who dressed in a racing suit and was boo’d while speaking to the crowd because he is soft on crime and as corrupt as they come. He welcomed people to Chicago in a short on-stage speech and kicked off the race by riding in the pace car to lead the race.

After 58 painful laps filled with crashes or spins, Alex Bowman was declared the winner, as he held on to the lead on the slick course against second-place Tyler Reddick. Ty Gibbs finished third.

NASCAR nabbed topline entertainment in its second year — among the list, leading country star Keith Urban, DJ duo du jour The Chainsmokers, “American Idol” alum Lauren Alaina and blues rock bigwigs The Black Keys. Yet, the crowds heading to Festival Field were a tiny fraction of what similar large events like Lollapalooza are able to draw in the same park. Small beer lines are foreign concepts to anyone who’s had to tap into survival skills at a headlining set at Lolla. Yet, at the Street Race, they were commonplace.

“I’m surprised there’s not more people here, but I’m excited to be up close,” Kelly Lulay told the Chicago Sun-Times, who drove in from Aurora to see Keith Urban. “If this was Soldier Field, you’d pay a fortune to be this close.”

NASCAR officials did not respond Sunday to a request by the Chicago Sun-Times for comment on concert crowd sizes.

The small grandstands compared to what F1 would bring were mostly full on Saturday for the Xfinity race, but seemed to have fewer visitors on Sunday as the rain saw some people leave early from both reserved seating sections and general admission areas.

Now that NASCAR has a second year under its belt, the question remains if it will return for a third.

The 2023 event attracted only 79,000 attendees over the weekend — short of the 100,000 attendance prediction.

The 2023 street race generated $119,899 for the Park District in addition to a $500,000 permit fee, which some critics say is too low of a fee to use the park the extent NASCAR does. The $119,899 included 15 percent of net commissions on concessions and merchandise, plus $2 per admission ticket, according to NASCAR’s contract with the Park District.

The city, however, spent at least $3.5 million in preparation and staffing costs. That includes $2.6 million in road construction and $1.4 million in police overtime, according to South Side Weekly.

Alds. Pat Dowell (3rd), Bill Conway (34th) and Brian Hopkins (2nd). The three aldermen, whose wards include portions of Downtown, were seen touring the grounds with NASCAR officials, including along the backstage areas.

“I’m looking forward to reviewing a complete financial analysis and hearing from residents and area businesses about the event’s impact,” Conway told Block Club Chicago.

“They sweetened the pot this year, but it’s not enough. They took advantage of the previous administration’s deal and I don’t blame them,” Hopkins said.

Under the contract with the city, NASCAR can come back for a third year, and it has an option to renew for two additional years. The contract allows for a 180-day termination clause either side can activate.

Yesterday’s British GP at Silverstone drew 164,000 fans and 480,000 came through the turnstiles over the 4-day event. The F1 race in Las Vegas drew a big crowd despite extremely high ticket prices.

F1 certainly can bring much more to the city of Chicago in terms of revenue and global exposure (over 70 million people watch each F1 race on TV around the world), but the footprint of the event, and the impact to traffic, will be far greater than NASCAR’s small impact.

If Liberty Media is keen on racing in Chicago, the embarrassing race NASCAR put on the last two years with its hapless drivers spinning out just about every lap has opened the door.

The question is whether Liberty Media is willing to grease the pockets of the corrupt local Chicago politicians enough for them to say yes.

Pocket Greasing in Chicago

Chicago has a long history of political corruption, dating to the incorporation of the city in 1833, so to question whether pockets can be greased is laughable.

It has been a de facto monolithic entity of the Democratic Party from the mid-20th century onward.

In the 1980s, the Operation Greylord investigation resulted in the indictments of 93 public officials, including 17 judges. Research released by the University of Illinois at Chicago reports that Chicago and Cook County’s judicial district recorded 45 public corruption convictions for 2013, and 1,642 convictions since 1976, when the Department of Justice began compiling statistics.

This prompted many media outlets to declare Chicago the “corruption capital of America”. Gradel and Simpson’s Corrupt Illinois (2015) provides the data behind Chicago’s corrupt political culture.

They found that a tabulation of federal public corruption convictions make Chicago “undoubtedly the most corrupt city in our nation”, with the cost of corruption “at least” $500 million per year.

Today, other democrat run cities such as Washington DC, New York and San Francisco rival Chicago for the King of Corruption title in America.

Related Article:  The Corrupt Political History of Chicago

The Murder Capital of America

At least 100 people were shot, 17 of them fatally, during the July 4th weekend in Mayor Brandon Johnson’s (D) Chicago.

Earlier in the weekend, Breitbart News reported at least 58 people were shot in the city Wednesday night to Friday night alone. Eleven of the 58 gunshot victims succumbed to their wounds.

By Sunday morning, the tally of gunshot victims had risen to at least 87 people, 16 of whom died.

The violence was so great that ABC 7 / Chicago Sun-Times pointed out one Chicago resident referred to July 4th as “assassination day.”

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com