The soundtrack to the inaugural NASCAR Chicago Street Race, which will turn Grant Park into a pop-up racetrack over the fourth weekend in July, will feature more than screeching tires and roaring engines.
In addition to 200-mph race cars, the two-day event will also feature full concerts ranging from country to electronic dance, headlined by Miranda Lambert, The Chainsmokers and The Black Crowes, NASCAR announced Wednesday.
NASCAR expects 100,000 attendees to participate in a Lollapalooza-esque festival designed to “reimagine the NASCAR experience in the heart of downtown Chicago,” Julie Giese, president of the Chicago Street Race, said in a press release. .
The televised Cup Series event, scheduled for July 2, will feature a 12-turn, 2.2-mile racetrack, featuring top NASCAR drivers meandering in and around Grant Park on closed streets with temporary fences, grandstands and hospitality suites. Texan singer-songwriter Charley Crockett will open for country superstar Lambert before the race.
A separate Xfinity Series race, the second tier of NASCAR competition, is scheduled for July 1. Southern rockers The Black Crowes, best known for their 1990 cover of “Hard to Handle,” will take the stage after the qualifying rounds, while The Chainsmokers, an electronic dance music duo, will perform after day one’s race is over.
Two-day general admission tickets, including the races and the concerts, start at $269 and go on sale February 2.
In November, NASCAR began selling two-day reserved tickets starting at $465. Premium club seats run a lot higher. Topping the list are temporary hospitality suites above pit lane, where tickets to the President’s Paddock Club cost more than $3,000 each.
NASCAR entered into a three-year agreement to convert the Grant Park area into a racetrack. Under the terms of the agreement, NASCAR will pay the Chicago Park District a license fee of $500,000 this year, $550,000 in 2024 and $605,000 in 2025, with an option to extend for two years. In addition, NASCAR pays the Park District a $2 per ticket fee and an incremental commission starting at 15% on food, drink and merchandise sold at the event.
The course starts on Columbus Drive in front of Buckingham Fountain, an area that will double as a pit lane. From there, drivers head south to Balbo Drive and then east toward Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive. Driving south along the lake, drivers turn west on Roosevelt Road and work their way back north on Columbus Drive in a roughly eight that takes up a stretch of South Michigan Avenue before reaching the start/finish line.
NASCAR will have full access to the racetrack area for nine days prior to and three days after the event. But the overall phasing period – the process of building and tearing down the temporary facilities – will run for a full month under the agreement, starting three weeks before the race weekend.