The MotorCity Casino has stepped in to become the presenting sponsor of the Woodward Dream Cruise, the annual classic car cruise held in the suburbs of Detroit in August. According to the event's executive director, Tony Michaels, the cruise will now be officially known as the "Woodward Dream Cruise presented by the MotorCity Casino Hotel."
Michaels made the announcement earlier this week at a press conference.
"For nine years, the MotorCity Casino has been a sponsor of the Woodward Dream Cruise," he said. "This year they stepped up to become the presenting sponsor of the 15th annual Woodward Dream Cruise. The Woodward Dream Cruise is here to stay; it will be better than ever with this new sponsorship."
The Woodward Dream Cruise was started in 1995 as a fundraising effort for a soccer field in Ferndale, Michigan. Today, it is the world's largest one-day automotive event, with as many as 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars attending from around the world. Market research suggests the event generates about $56 million for the Detroit economy - more than Super Bowl XL or the 2005 Major League Baseball All-Star Game generated.
According to a Detroit Free Press article, the cruise has lost about $235,000 in annual support from the auto industry since 2006. Michaels would not give specific numbers, but said the casino would commit significant funds for the event.
"The casino will help with the cost of entertainment in the participating communities," Michael said. "The casino is in the entertainment business and so will also help line up entertainment for the dream cruise."
The city of Birmingham recently announced that it was pulling out of the cruise and would set up its own event on the same day as the Woodward Dream Cruise. Michaels shrugged off the announcement.
"Woodward has tried several approaches to the cruise in the past," he said. "The important thing is that it's a great event all the way up and down Woodward.
The 2009 Woodward Dream Cruise is scheduled for August 15.