Detroit's 2020 Grand Prix on Belle Isle canceled due to coronavirus

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click to enlarge Cars race at the Belle Isle Grand Prix in 2016. - Mike Ferdinande
Mike Ferdinande
Cars race at the Belle Isle Grand Prix in 2016.

For years, the months-long construction for Belle Isle's annual Grand Prix IndyCar Series race has been a point of contention for many Detroiters, who want to just be able to use the State Park for what it was intended for — you know, like, enjoying nature and shit.

Well, it looks like that group got what they wanted this year.

Organizers announced Monday that the 2020 Grand Prix, originally scheduled for May 29-31, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a press release, they tried to secure an alternate date for the event on Belle Isle in 2020, but it didn't pan out.

“It is certainly disappointing that it won’t take place this year, but the health and safety of everyone at the Grand Prix is always our top priority,” said Bud Denker, Chairman of the Detroit Grand Prix, in a statement. “We looked at every possible scenario to reschedule the race, but all of them would have been too disruptive to the hundreds of fall events that will take place on Belle Isle. Some events, like weddings, family reunions and festivals, have been scheduled a year in advance and it would not be right to alter anyone’s plans. We look forward to the Grand Prix returning in 2021 as we continue our mission of revitalizing Belle Isle Park and providing significant support to the Belle Isle Conservancy, while helping to inject millions of dollars in economic benefit to our cities and our region.”

According to the press release, they will reach out to ticket holders to discuss options. Organizers say the Detroit Grand Prix will return June 4-6, 2021.

Until then, you can enjoy a construction-less Belle Isle. While Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will likely extend her executive order calling on all Michiganders to stay at home as much as possible to stop the spread of the virus through the end of April, it allows people to go to parks to get exercise. Just be sure to stay more than six feet away from other people, and wear a face mask or a bandana that covers your mouth.

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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