By Merrill Cain
(DETROIT, MI) – Following an action-packed weekend that showcased some incredible racing, the beauty of Belle Isle Park and the Detroit and Windsor riverfronts, the early numbers reveal a successful 2013 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.
The exciting on-track action featured the first-ever IZOD IndyCar Series doubleheader at the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans, the Chevrolet GRAND-AM 200 at Belle Isle presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers with the sports cars of the GRAND-AM Rolex Series and the Cadillac V-Series Challenge presented by the Metro Detroit Cadillac Dealers featuring the cars of the Pirelli World Challenge Series.
An estimated crowd of more than 100,000 fans over the three-day weekend witnessed the return of world-class auto racing to the Motor City with roughly 25,000 fans on Friday at Comerica Bank Free Prix Day, just under 30,000 on Saturday and over 45,000 on Sunday.
The television ratings for the Chevy Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans was also very positive and represented impressive growth from last season. Overnight national ratings on ABC revealed that the race broadcast from Saturday, June 1 drew .7 rating while the Sunday, June 2 race posted a .8 rating. The Sunday number represented a 14% increase over last year’s IndyCar Series race on Belle Isle, also aired live on ABC. Both broadcasts were the highest-rated IndyCar races this season, outside of the Indianapolis 500, and only one other race in 2013 saw an increase in ratings from 2012 with the Belle Isle race carrying the largest jump from one year to the next.
In addition to the strong numbers at the gate and on TV, the 2013 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix also enjoyed tremendous sponsorship support. The event included 54 sponsor partners, including those that purchased the premiere hospitality chalets in and around the venue. Overall, corporate sponsorship increased by about 5% from 2012 to 2013.
On social media, the Grand Prix also experienced tremendous growth. Mentions of the race increased nearly 600% on Twitter with more than 18,000 mentions over the course of the weekend. The event’s official hashtag, #DetroitGP, was a top-10 trending topic on Saturday/Sunday, with the peak coming on Sunday during the second Dual in Detroit race, when it was the second-highest trending topic in the U.S.
“We are very proud of the success of the 2013 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix,” said Grand Prix Chairman Bud Denker. “We have to thank the fans, the sponsors, the competitors and our dedicated group of over 1,200 volunteers for making this event so special. It was very rewarding to see so many people enjoying themselves on Belle Isle this past weekend and the beautiful shots of the Detroit and Windsor riverfronts just looked spectacular on television for the world to see. We will continue to improve the event with some changes already in the works and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back to Belle Isle in 2014.”