Just months after the historic 2023 NASCAR Chicago Street Race, organizers announced that the race will return for its second year next summer, with some changes.
The NASCAR Chicago Street Race has been included in the 2024 NASCAR racing schedule, with next year’s event scheduled for the weekend of July 6-7.
According to NASCAR, the
Shortly after the 2023 event, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration began discussions with NASCAR in an effort to address the many concerns expressed by residents and city council members.
Among the upcoming changes is a shortened window for event setup and teardown, addressing one of the main concerns of the 2023 event as it closed access to parts of the downtown lakefront for weeks.
Johnson’s administration said NASCAR agreed to increase investments in Chicago communities as well as “expand opportunities for minority- and women-owned small businesses to participate as vendors in 2024.”
Organizers are also weighing changes to the city’s financial burden, which Johnson called a “win” for the city.
The return to Chicago was praised by NASCAR.
“From the beginning, our goal was to bring worldwide attention and tourism to Chicago, while introducing motorsports to a whole new fan base, and on both counts, 2023 was a resounding success” , said Julie Giese, president of the Chicago Street Race. “NASCAR is honored to be a part of the Chicago community 365 days a year, and we look forward to building on the incredible foundation we established this year.”
Officials say the race brought in more than $8.3 million in state and local tax revenue in 2023, with 52% of participants coming from out of state for the event.
The broadcast was NBC’s most-watched NASCAR race since 2017 and the most broadcast race in NBC history.
The event was hampered by heavy rain, which washed out the conclusion of the Xfinity Series race and caused the Cup Series race to be shortened due to darkness. Despite nine inches of rain in two days, the race was closely fought, with Shane Van Gisbergen winning his NASCAR debut on the streets of Chicago.
The race, which closed large parts of Grant Park and portions of several key roads, including Michigan Avenue and DuSable Lake Shore Drive, was a unique spectacle, one the race circuit had never seen, but Mayor Brandon Johnson had committed to re-evaluating the event. due to traffic disruptions and other factors.
The process behind the three-year contract agreement, orchestrated by former Mayor Lori Lightfoot, was roundly criticized by activists, Chicago City Council members and some residents, who said the secret negotiations left the city with a bad contract that had a negative impact on the city. community.
Under the agreement reached, NASCAR agreed to pay the city a rate of $2 per ticket sold, as well as a percentage of net commissions on food and beverage sales. An annual permit fee of $500,000 was also agreed upon.
In exchange, the city gave NASCAR control of large portions of Grant Park for concert spaces, a fan fair and more.
The racetrack required the closure of not only DuSable Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue, but also Columbus Drive, Jackson Boulevard and more.