DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! If that phrase is a thrill, you’re going to want to check out the Detroit Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix, which happens June 1-3.
This marks the grand return of a Detroit tradition that faded away four years ago. It’s roaring back in 2012 in a new and improved way. And it’s an important return: The 2007 and 2008 Grand Prix events generated more than $52 million for metro Detroit, with more than 100,000 people attending in both 2007 and 2008.
Organizers say they’ve made over $6 million in improvements to Belle Isle since the last Grand Prix by installing more than 150,000 square feet of new concrete for road improvements, repairing damaged lighting and drainage systems, renovating the Scott Fountain and Belle Isle Casino, installing more than 460,000 square feet of concrete for a new paddock area.
The goal is for drivers to be able to interact with fans and enjoy a “cleaner and more comfortable race experience,” according to the Grand Prix website.
They also installed new pedestrian bridges and playscapes for the kids.
Race fans will enjoy cars of the IZOD IndyCar Series, the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, the Firestone Indy Lights Series and the Pirelli World Challenge Championship Series on a 2.1 mile track.
But it’s not just about racing, it’s also a weekend to bring the family for games, a family fun zone, vendors and live entertainment. Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels will headline Friday on the Motor City Entertainment Stage, the B-52s will headline Saturday, and Ronnie Dunn headlines Sunday.
Best yet? Tickets cost less than they did the last time Grand Prix was in town. A three-day pass costs $155 for adults and $110 for kids; a single day pass Saturday is $60 for adults and $40 for kids to sit in the upper rows of the grandstand, with lower rows at $40 for adults and $20 for kids.