After announcing last December that the 2009 Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix would be cancelled due to regional economic difficulties, race fans in Michigan suffered yet another blow today: any chance of the event returning in 2010 has been scuttled.
"We had hoped that the economic environment would all the Grand Prix to return to Belle Isle in 2010," said Bud Denker, the event chairman of the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. "Unfortunately this continues to be a challenging time to secure sponsorship to produce a world-class sporting event.
"We remain committed to the future of the race and we are hopeful that the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will return in the summer of 2010."
In 2007 and 2008, the Belle Isle Grand Prix featured the American Le Mans Series and the IndyCar Series. Crowd estimates place over 100,000 people at the events both years, and the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau says the Grand Prix generated more than $50 million in revenue for metro Detroit both years. 28 percent of visitors in 2008 came from outside Detroit's tri-county region, and 52 percent of those visitors were from out of state.