Welcome to Belle Isle Concern


On July 13, 2018, at a meeting of the Belle Isle Park Advisory Committee Meeting (rescheduled from July 19), Grand Prix organization spokesman Michael Montri presented a proposal to the DNR for a new three-year contract with a two-year extension option, decreasing the set-up time by seven days but increasing the takedown time by four days for a net decrease of only three days and a total of 62 days total occupation time. The Prix offered to increase their permit fee from $200,000 to $300,000 plus make an annual $50,000 donation to any DNR project and a $35,000 donation for programming events on the paddock.

Two dozen or so red-shirted Grand Prix volunteers attended (apparently they had plenty of notice about the switch in meeting days!) and many of them spoke, but otherwise we "handful of critics" dominated a ninety-minute public comment session. Lots of media were present and there were many reports.

Belle Isle Conservancy head Michele Hodges and Sommer Woods, both advisory committee members, went to great lengths to defend their ties to Penske because we had pointed out their conflicts of interest. Montri also claimed that the race generated $31M in economic benefits, backing down from previous (bogus) bigger claims. Montri even mused that in a few years Penske may decide the Grand Prix has "done enough" for Belle Isle and walk away!


The DNR website has the Prix permit application and the proposal along with a forum for public comment. At the meeting, parks chief Ron Olson said he expects the DNR to approve the permit application by July 23. After an internal evaluation and a review of public comments, the DNR will its preliminary decision on the contract proposal at a Belle Isle Park Advisory Committee (BIPAC) meeting August 2 at 6 p.m. The venue has not been finalized, but it will likely be at the Belle Isle Nature Center. Since it will be a BIPAC meeting there will presumably be only 3 minutes apiece of public comment time and no questions from the floor—although you could use your comment time to ask someone a question.

You can view the proposal and an outline of the event extension process at https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350-79137_79763_79901---,00.html


You can send an email with your comments to the DNR:

DNR-GrandPrix-Proposal@michigan.gov through August 2, 2018.


It is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL that if you oppose the Grand Prix being held on Belle Isle, you use the DNR website portal to submit your comments on the proposal ASAP. There is no limit to how long your comment can be. You might also consider sending copies of your comments to news outlets and posting them online. DNR-GrandPrix-Proposal@michigan.gov through August 2, 2018.

The DNR will accept public comments, questions and other feedback via email at DNR-GrandPrix-Proposal@michigan.gov through Aug. 2, 2018. Also, a special meeting of the Belle Isle Park Advisory Committee will be held Thursday, August 2, at 6 p.m. at the Belle Isle Nature Center (176 Lakeside Dr. in Belle Isle Park), where DNR staff will review and discuss the recommendation, and the public will have the opportunity for comment.

Please plan on coming to the August 2 meeting and speaking during public comment.


 Belle Isle Concern is also on Facebook       



What's wrong with holding the Grand Prix on Belle Isle Park?

Belle Isle is a public park and should provide free and unrestricted access to people every day of the year.

The Grand Prix violates the mission and stewardship criteria of the DNR (and Belle Isle Conservancy).

 The Grand Prix confiscates the most popular, accessible part of the island for most of the

spring. Concrete barriers block the river view, huge corporate ads line the roads, massive party tents block roads.

 Belle Isle is a stopover for migratory birds and habitat for lots of flora and fauna, but the DNR has refused to do an environmental impact study of the race.   

 Access to the Scott Fountain is blocked, picnic areas cordoned off--so weddings and family reunions can't be held. Revenue is lost.

 An overwhelming majority of park users have told the DNR in surveys and public meetings that the #1 priority for the island is removing the  

 Grand Prix.

 Auto racing is an environmentally insensitive activity which is totally inappropriate for a public park.

 Auto racing is inappropriate for a venue so close to densely populated areas because of the disturbance it creates and the disruption it causes to local residents and businesses.

 In a world increasingly conscious of the environment, the holding of an auto race in an important public park will be seen internationally not as increasing Detroit's prestige but as an appalling act of destruction.  ********

                                                    Hey,Grand Prix! Quit Disrespecting the People's  Park!


Keep updated by visiting this website or the Facebook group Belle Isle: Park or Racetrack? The DNR has promised a public hearing and review process for any new contract, expected soon.

Make your voice heard - "No New Grand Prix Contract." Contact: Keith Creagh, Director, DNR at 517.284.6367, email DNR-Director@michigan.govRon Olson, Parks & Recreation Chief at 517.284.7275, email olsonr@michigan.gov; 

Residents of the City of Detroit, contact Brenda Jones, President, Detroit City Council, 313.224.1245, bjones_mb@detroitmi.gov and/or your other City Council members. The city still owns the park. It is the landlord leasing the park to the DNR.  Click on the "Take Action to Protect Belle Isle Park" at the bottom of the "Navigation  column on the left side of this page for email and snail mail addresses.