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DNR, Grand Prix strike a deal to keep race on Belle Isle

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Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

A long-running debate has reached its conclusion, at least for another three years.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced today that it has reached an agreement with the Detroit Grand Prix, keeping the three-day race on the island for another three years.

Opponents to the race being held on the island park argue that the race takes over part of the island during a time (spring) when people want to get outside and enjoy nature. The race is held during the first weekend of June, but set-up time has taken over two months.

In the new agreement, set-up will take 60 days in 2019 and 59 days starting in 2020. They’ll also be required to remove barriers after the race. The Grand Prix will pay a $325,000 fee for the event, up from $200,000.

The Grand Prix will also pay $125,000 annually for improvements to the park.

In addition, according to a release from the DNR,

The Detroit Grand Prix’s commitment to host the annual Grand Prixmiere fund-raising event, which has raised an average of $800,000 annually for Belle Isle over the last several years. Grand Prixmiere funds will be used to keep the Belle Isle Aquarium operating free to the public, complete a priority infrastructure project yet to be announced and benefit the Belle Isle Conservancy.

The DNR claims that the Grand Prix has a limited impact on the natural resources on the island, and that the Grand Prix has invested over $13.5 million in improvements to the island.