Last year, it was announced that NASCAR was coming to Chicago for a road race.
And I’ll admit, the idea seemed pretty cool at the time, but when I think about the fact that Chicago is one of the biggest cities in the country, and tons of roads are going to be shut down for this Cup Series race, I could only imagine the nightmare it was gonna be for Chicago residents.
The road race went down on July 1st and 2nd, shutting down Grant Park, along with parts of DuSable Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue… for weeks, both before and after the race.
And to make matters worse, the two day event was hit with lightning and bad rain, cutting both races short and most of the concerts slated for the weekend were canceled.
However, NASCAR is supposed to be coming back to Chicago for the next two years, as the city entered a three-year agreement with NASCAR, which featured a two-year renewal option.
But, if you think Chicago residents were satisfied with this year’s event and want it to return, then think again.
According to Chicago Sun Times,Ald. Brendan Reilly, whose ward includes much of downtown and Grant Park, created an online poll for city residents.
The poll states that the race course negatively affected nearly 60% of respondents, 34% said the race had no impact on their travels, and 7% were indifferent.
Respondents also gave a mixed review on NASCAR’s outreach efforts, with 38% saying they were satisfied, 32% saying they were dissatisfied, and 29% saying they were neutral.
But, 54% said they do not support the race coming back to Chicago, while 37% said they do.
NASCAR paid the Chicago Park District a $500,000 permit fee for the weekend, and the fee rises to $550,000 in 2024 and $605,000 in 2025. The Park District also got a 15% commission on concessions, $2 per admission ticket, and a $50,000 security deposit for damages done to Grant Park.
With the city being broke as hell, you can’t imagine they’d want to pass up the revenue opportunity, but the people living there? Well, seems like they’d be much happier without it.