Despite opposition from residents, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has finalized an agreement to host the Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle at least through 2021.
“We are excited that the Detroit Grand Prix will continue at Belle Isle for the next several years and we want to thank the State of Michigan for working with us on this new agreement, as well as our partners with City of Detroit and the Belle Isle Conservancy,” event chairman Bud Denker says in a statement. “This event means so much to Detroit, to Windsor and our entire community.”
A citizens’ group, Belle Isle Concern, had opposed the location.
“The starting assumption should be protecting Belle Isle as a public park, not justifying its use as a private racetrack,” Sandra Novacek, the group’s leader, says in a statement earlier this week, according to Charles E. Ramirez and Gregg Krupa of The Detroit News.
She also called the Grand Prix a “gross misuse of Detroit’s most precious public space just for the purpose of a relatively small sporting event conducted by a billionaire.”