Is having a NASCAR race in downtown Chicago stupid. Compared to Lollapalooza?
Is Lightfoot's idea really really stupid?
Lollapalooza will generate 3 times the economic activity of NASCAR race in less time
By Matt Moore, Suntimes
Lollapalooza generated a third of a billion dollars in economic activity in Chicago last year, three times higher than the NASCAR Fourth of July weekend street race is expected to rake in, according to a new study.
But the street race, although less lucrative for Chicago businesses, will occupy parts of Grant Park for nearly twice as much time during the busy summer season. Critics call it a bad deal.
“The impact to the city in terms of cost and congestion will be more than Lolla, and the returns are significantly less,” said 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins said of the NASCAR race, scheduled for July 1-2.
NASCAR may take up space in Grant Park between 20 and 40 days, depending on weather, Hopkins said. NASCAR will also need to modify curbs and remove manhole covers, which could add more time, Hopkins said. A NASCAR spokesman said a final timeline of road and park closures is still being worked out with city departments. NASCAR has said roads and most areas of the park will likely be closed between June 28 and July 3 or 4.
Lolla, by contrast, will use Grant Park for 24 days total, between July 21 and Aug. 13. The four-day festival is set for Aug. 3-6. Lollapalooza, which recently signed a 10-year deal with the city, appears to be more advantageous for the city in terms of economic activity, tax revenue and fees.