Protesters Want Grand Prix off Belle Isle

A protest is planned to provide a not so warm welcome the for the Detroit Grand Prix Saturday.

Sandra Novacek is the co-ordinator for Belle Isle Concern; the group has been protesting the use of the public park for a private race since 2015.

Grand Prix organizers signed a three year deal to be on Belle Isle a total of 60 days for set-up, the race itself and clean-up — down from 84 days previously — last year.

They also agreed to pay $325,000 more towards park improvement projects each year, but Novacek's group doesn't want to see the park closed at all.

"It's not a race track; the park is occupied by a private corporation's race. The public would like to get its space back," she says.

She tells AM800 News regular park users are the hardest hit by the closure.

"They rely on that. Many people can't afford a health club membership and Belle Isle is their health club and where they go on their vacation," she says. "It should be available to the public 365 days of the year, not closed."

The protest is set for 12pm at the opening to Belle Isle Park on Jefferson Ave.

Drivers will start their engines at the 2019 Detroit Grand Prix on June 1.

— with files from AM800's Rob Hindi.