STRONG ATTENDANCE, VIEWERSHIP AND MEDIA COVERAGE HIGHLIGHT SUCCESSFUL 2017 CHEVROLET DETROIT GRAND PRIX PRESENTED BY LEAR
DETROIT, Mich. (June 12, 2017) – An impressive number of people from Belle Isle to across the globe either witnessed or engaged in the Motor City’s three-day motorsports festival as the final numbers have been tallied for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, held June 2-4.
Highlighted by strong attendance, record social and traditional media coverage along with unprecedented partner support and solid viewership numbers, this year’s Grand Prix created a positive impact that will be felt in the community long after the echo of the engines on Belle Isle has subsided.
Grand Prix organizers revealed shortly after the final race of the weekend that the event drew an estimated 100,000 people to Belle Isle Park over the course of its three days, June 2-4. This included over 25,000 fans on Comerica Bank Free Prix Day on Friday, June 2, approximately 45,000 fans for the best-attended Saturday in the history of the Grand Prix and more than 30,000 fans on Sunday when the threat of rain early in the day kept the expected attendance numbers down. With the impressive turnout, it marked the fifth time in the last six years that the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear surpassed the 95,000 fan mark in total attendance.
Featuring the only Verizon IndyCar Series doubleheader race weekend – the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit – the Grand Prix posted numbers that revealed the most successful series event this season outside of the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500. Though the national and local television ratings on ABC-TV were down from an all-time high in 2016, total viewership for both Dual in Detroit races drew nearly 1.8 million viewers nationwide marking the second-highest watched Verizon IndyCar Series event behind the Indy 500. According Nielsen ratings, the IndyCar race broadcasts from Belle Isle recorded 5.02 million unique viewers over the course of the weekend, which also ranked second only to the Indy 500 this year.
The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear also produced incredible results on the digital front with INDYCAR reporting the event had the highest total social media engagement and growth of any series event this season, including the Indy 500. The event garnered the most traditional media coverage of any event this season as well with nearly 50,000 stories generated globally during the week of the race.
With a record number of 77 partners in 2017, the Grand Prix also established a new level of corporate support for an event that has become one of the most popular and positive annual celebrations to wave the green flag on summertime in the Motor City.
“It was an extremely successful Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear and we are very pleased with the results we’ve seen across the board,” said Bud Denker, Chairman of the Grand Prix. “With over 100,000 fans in attendance on Belle Isle over the course of the weekend, that is really the perfect number for us to execute our transportation plan, which ran flawlessly during the weekend. We’re very excited to see the remarkable growth and engagement numbers on the digital and social media front as we know that our fans are finding different and creative ways to engage with our event. While the statistics are impressive, what we’re most proud of is the fact that our fans had a great time and got a chance to experience some wonderful memories on Belle Isle and that we were able to showcase the beauty of the island to a worldwide television and digital audience. Belle Isle and the shared Detroit and Windsor waterfront never looked more beautiful.”
On its own social media platforms, the Grand Prix also experienced record numbers during an eventful race week. Total social media impressions rose from 156 million in 2016 to 236 million this year, representing an increase of over 33.8%. On Twitter alone, the Grand Prix generated over 176 million potential impressions (up from 97 million in 2016) while trending several times in Detroit and surrounding areas throughout the race weekend.
It was a memorable weekend on the track as well at the Grand Prix. Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing became the first driver to sweep both Chevy Dual in Detroit Verizon IndyCar Series races on Belle Isle. In the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race on Saturday– the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic – brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor went from last to first in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac to capture their fifth win in a row to start the season, and second consecutive victory at Belle Isle. In the first championship points paying race in Detroit for the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli since 2001, Eddie Francis Jr. won the TA class 3-Dimensional Services Motor City 100 while Gar Robinson from the Michigan-based Robinson Racing team took the No. 74 Pura Vida Tequila/74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro to victory lane in the TA2 class 3-Dimensional Services Muscle Car Challenge. Sheldon Creed also had a dominant weekend as he captured the checkered flag in both SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Truck Series races over the weekend.