A Windsor city councillor wants to know exactly how the city benefits from the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.
Kieran McKenzie was among different members of city council who questioned Gordon Orr, the CEO of Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island on Monday over the city’s sponsorship of the race.
“I don't think we've seen sufficient data to substantiate how worthwhile this investment may be,” said McKenzie. “I suspect that it might be but I want us to have clear evidence.”
The City of Windsor spends $50,000 for the naming rights of the media centre and bleachers during the race at Belle Isle while marketing Windsor and Detroit as a two-nation destination.
Orr defended the spending, saying there are many intangible benefits.
“I think if you're looking at one single signature race car world class event that we want to attach our name to, then this would be it,” said Orr.
McKenzie has asked city staff to look at the economic impact the Grand Prix has on the City of Windsor, including cross border visits, hotels, even casino visits.
He also wants a report to outline the process of how sports tourism events are chosen and brought forward for council approval.
“Using whatever processes we are able to develop in evaluating the effectiveness of the development, perhaps we can apply the methodologies to future proposals," added McKenzie.
This is the tenth year the City of Windsor has been a partner with the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, which takes place May 31 to June 2.