GRANT PARK — Grant Park has once again transformed into a NASCAR paradise with VIP grandstands and a winding course with skyline views of Chicago.

The NASCAR Chicago Street Race, which covers 2.2 miles with 12 narrow turns along a mix of concrete, asphalt and elevation, returns for its second year. With it, the racing giant brings races, concerts and other events back to the city Saturday and Sunday.

2024 NASCAR Street Race course. Credit: Provided

Last year, torrential downpours canceled almost all of the scheduled concert events and shortened both of the races. The race was also controversial among Downtown residents; in a post-event survey, many neighbors said they did not want it to return.

The 2023 street race generated $119,899 for the Park District in addition to a $500,000 permit fee. The $119,899 included 15 percent of net commissions on concessions and merchandise, plus $2 per admission ticket, according to NASCAR’s contract with the Park District.

Attracting just over 79,000 attendees — short of the 100,000 attendance prediction — the 2023 series generated $109 million in economic activity and $8.3 million in local and state taxes, according to an economic impact report.

Fans watch the inaugural NASCAR Chicago Street Race on July 2, 2023. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

This year’s race has faced criticism, as the Taste of Chicago was moved to September to make way for NASCAR and some Grant Park vendors spoke out against competing with even more summer events.

Under the contract with the city, NASCAR can come back for a third year with an option to renew for two additional years. The contract allows for a 180-day termination clause either side can activate.

Here’s what you need to know about race weekend.

Schedule

Gates open 8:45 a.m. Saturday with practice and qualifying rounds starting 9 a.m. The Loop 110 Xfinity Series Race, a 50-lap contest, is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Saturday followed by The Chainsmokers concert at 8 p.m.

On Sunday, doors open 9 a.m. with musical guests Lauren Alaina performing 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and Keith Urban 1-2:30 p.m. The main event, the 75-lap Grant Park 165, kicks off 3:30 p.m. and will air live on NBC.

Tickets

The race is expected to attract 50,000 visitors a day. As of Friday, tickets were $294 for general admission and $432 for general admission plus, and club experiences were starting at $840.

New this year is general admission pricing for kids 12 and under, with free admission Saturday and $45 admission Sunday with any adult ticket.

Ticket prices for general admission and general admission plus are trending higher than last year, according to price lists posted to the race’s website last year.

Street Closures

Major Downtown street closures caused by the race will make it difficult to get around near the race’s footprint. Here’s a list of which streets are closed and open during race weekend.

Full closures on the following streets:

  • Southbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive from Randolph Street to McFetridge Drive
  • Northbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive from McFetridge Drive to Randolph Street
  • Northbound Michigan Avenue from Roosevelt Road to Jackson Drive
  • Southbound Michigan Avenue from Jackson Drive to 8th Street
  • Monroe Street from Columbus Drive to DuSable Lake Shore Drive
  • Columbus Drive from Roosevelt Road to Monroe Street
  • Roosevelt Road from DuSable Lake Shore Drive to Michigan Avenue
  • Jackson Drive from Michigan Avenue to DuSable Lake Shore Drive
  • Balbo Drive from Michigan Avenue to DuSable Lake Shore Drive
  • Ida B. Wells Drive from Michigan Avenue to Columbus Drive

Local access only on the following streets:

  • Southbound Michigan Avenue from 8th Street to Roosevelt Road
  • Northbound Michigan Avenue from Adams Street to Monroe Street
  • Harrison Avenue from Wabash Avenue to Michigan Avenue
  • Jackson Drive from Wabash Avenue to Michigan Avenue
  • Balbo Drive from Wabash Avenue to Michigan Avenue
  • Ida B. Wells Drive from Wabash Avenue to Michigan Avenue
  • Van Buren Street from Wabash Avenue to Michigan Avenue
  • Southbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive from Randolph Street to Monroe Street

The Columbus Drive underpass and the Lakefront Trail — including Monroe Street to Roosevelt Road — will remain open throughout the event.

The following streets will remain open through race weekend:

  • State Street
  • Dearborn Street
  • Clark Street
  • LaSalle Street
  • Wells Street
  • Franklin Street
  • Upper Wacker Drive
  • Lower Wacker Drive
  • Randolph Street
  • Washington Street
  • Madison Street
  • Roosevelt Road west of Michigan Avenue
  • 18th Street

Here’s how roads will reopen in phases after the race and through July 18:

Phased reopening plan for streets surrounding Grant Park after the 2024 NASCAR Race. Credit: Provided
Phased reopening plan for streets surrounding Grant Park after the 2024 NASCAR Race. Credit: Provided
Phased reopening plan for streets surrounding Grant Park after the 2024 NASCAR Race. Credit: Provided
Phased reopening plan for streets surrounding Grant Park after the 2024 NASCAR Race. Credit: Provided
Phased reopening plan for streets surrounding Grant Park after the 2024 NASCAR Race. Credit: Provided
Phased reopening plan for streets surrounding Grant Park after the 2024 NASCAR Race. Credit: Provided
Phased reopening plan for streets surrounding Grant Park after the 2024 NASCAR Race. Credit: Provided
Phased reopening plan for streets surrounding Grant Park after the 2024 NASCAR Race. Credit: provided

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