‘A bad deal’: Chicago’s NASCAR contract slammed by downtown aldermen

CHICAGO — New particulars about Chicago’s deal to convey NASCAR to Grant Park subsequent year are additional fueling some metropolis officers’ displeasure with the upcoming occasion.

Up to 100,000 persons are anticipated each day for the race. Documents obtained by Crain’s Chicago Business reveal, nonetheless, that the occasion gained’t be as profitable for the town as initially thought. Worse, the occasion’s influence on downtown Chicago might last more than anticipated.

The metropolis’s park district beforehand mentioned NASCAR would have entry to the positioning 9 days earlier than and three days after the occasion, however Crain’s Chicago Business reports that NASCAR can have a staging window of 21 days earlier than the race and 10 days after.

According to the information outlet, NASCAR pays the park district $550,000 in 2023 and 2024. The park district can even obtain $2 for each ticket bought and a proportion of concessions and merchandise gross sales.

But NASCAR has unique rights to promote sponsorship.

Crain’s columnist on politics and authorities in Chicago, Greg Hinz, spoke on the monetary comparability to a different summer season occasion in Grant Park.

“It doesn’t look like based on partial information that they’re kind of getting the financial compensation, the park district, that Lollapalooza is,” Hinz mentioned.

Justin Laurence, who covers City Hall for the information outlet, says, “In the Lollapalooza contract, they get a cut of the sponsorship and they get a cut of streaming of the concert. That’s not going to happen here. So the city, in all likelihood, will make much less money.”

Downtown Alderman Brendan Reilly reacted to Crain’s report, saying partly:

“Judging from the details we are just learning now, it’s pretty obvious why the Administration forbade NASCAR from sharing the terms of the deal with the alderpersons who represent impacted communities: the more we learn, the worse this deal gets…In my experience, Chicago taxpayers know a bad deal when they see one. And I’m sad to say: this is one of them”

The mayor’s office didn’t return WGN News’ requests for remark.

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