2021 Detroit Grand Prix to host additional fans following shift in state guidelines

Outdoor capacity limits to be lifted in Michigan on June 1

Drivers pull out of the pit for their warm-up laps at the IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix auto race on Belle Isle in Detroit on June 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

DETROIT – The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear is returning to Belle Isle this summer and will be hosting more fans than expected, following Michigan’s recently updated COVID guidelines.

The 2021 Detroit Grand Prix, happening on June 11-13 at Belle Isle Park, was initially set to host 6,000-9,000 people at the venue each day during the event. However, because the state of Michigan announced this week that some COVID restrictions will soon be relaxed, event organizers say thousands more fans will be welcomed to the June event than originally planned.

“We are so excited that we will be able to welcome more fans back to Belle Isle to experience the Grand Prix June 11-13 with the restrictions on outdoor venues being lifted in the state of Michigan,” said Michael Montri, President of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear. “With vaccinations continuing and positivity rates improving across the state, this is another strong indication that we are moving in a positive direction in Michigan.”

Beginning June 1, all outdoor capacity limits will be lifted in the state of Michigan.

More: 9 takeaways from COVID update: Michigan’s new reopening schedule, restaurant rules, mask policy

The capacity for grandstand seats at the Detroit Grand Prix was initially reduced by about 20 percent. Event organizers say additional tickets for the newly available grandstand seats will go on sale on May 24. General admission tickets for the event are currently on sale and can be purchased at the event’s website right here.

Officials say a capacity limit will still be in place for the June event in an effort to prevent coronavirus spread. The event will also follow current COVID-19 protocols designed to prevent virus spread, including offering several hand sanitizing stations and cleaning high-contact areas constantly throughout each day.

On May 11, event organizers announced that face masks would be mandatory throughout the event, except when actively eating or drinking -- but it is unclear if this rule will still be in place, since Michigan’s mask guidelines were also recently changed.

In line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Michigan officials now say that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or socially distance indoors or outdoors in most situations.

Read: Michigan lifts mask requirements for fully vaccinated residents, matching CDC guidelines

This June, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will join the NTT IndyCar Series and the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires for an exciting on-track lineup at the Detroit Grand Prix.

The IMSA sports cars were originally scheduled to race in Detroit one week earlier to provide teams and drivers the opportunity to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. However, the Le Mans has been delayed until August, making it possible for IMSA competitors to join IndyCar and Indy Lights for a single-weekend racing experience.

“Our top priority has always been to provide a safe and fun experience on Belle Isle for our fans,” Montri. said “As we followed the protocols that were in place throughout our planning, and with the build out for the Grand Prix entering its final stages, many of the fan activities and attractions that were featured at our event in the past -- like live music -- will not be included in 2021.

“We have heard from many of our fans that are looking forward to being back on Belle Isle to enjoy a world-class event and we are so excited to provide that opportunity to a few thousand more fans each day at the Grand Prix. With displays from Chevrolet, Cadillac, Firestone and others, new general admission viewing areas for fans to enjoy and exciting racing with INDYCAR, IMSA -- including the return of Corvette Racing -- and Indy Lights, it’s going to be a great weekend on Belle Isle!”

Learn more about the lineup: Detroit Grand Prix shifts back to one-weekend format for 2021

Visit the Detroit Grand Prix’s website here for the latest information.

Related: Gov. Whitmer outlines Michigan’s new schedule for lifting COVID rules, getting life ‘back to normal’

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.