The Detroit Grand Prix began as a downtown event, and organizers are exploring a return to the race’s downtown roots.
Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix said in a statement Wednesday while the organization has the option to extend the current agreement with the state to keep the race on Belle Isle through 2024, it is eyeing a move to downtown in 2023.
“An annual summertime racing festival on the streets of Detroit would represent a connection to the rich heritage of the Grand Prix, the opportunity to engage with broad audiences and provide an even greater boost to the local economy while adding to the energy and momentum that is building downtown and along our beautiful waterfront,” say organizers.
The racing event was held downtown from 1982-1991 before shifting to Belle Isle.
The Detroit Grand Prix has become a polarizing topic in recent years, with accusations that it mars the natural beauty of the island. Opponents say car racing has no place on Belle Isle, arguing it’s disruptive and takes away from the natural beauty of an island designated a state park. Those in favor of the Grand Prix point to the event predating Belle Isle’s state park status. Supporters add that most of Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources yearly budget for island improvements stems from the races and associated events.
Check out photos organizers presented to Detroit City Council this week here.