DBusiness Daily Update: Detroit Grand Prix Delivers ‘Strong’ Results in 2024, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
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Hart Plaza was bustling with activity during the 2024 Detroit Grand Prix. // Photo by Tim Keenan

Detroit Grand Prix Delivers ‘Strong’ Results in 2024

Although some racing insiders were critical of the action on the Detroit Grand Prix’s tight, nine-turn, 1.7-mile downtown street course (47 of 100 laps were run under the yellow caution flag), the May 31-June 2 race weekend delivered “strong” results by many other metrics.

Still, the IndyCar field averaged more than four passes a lap under green over the course of the race, which is just under the same number per lap as the Indianapolis 500 the week before. Six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon won the Sunday premiere race for his record fourth career victory. The future stars of IndyCar also raced on Sunday as Louis Foster dominated the Indy NXT race leading all 45 laps to win from the pole for the Andretti Global team.

On Saturday, June 1, the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship made its debut on the Detroit street circuit with the Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport No. 10 Acura claiming the overall victory and the GTP class win with drivers Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque. In the GTD Pro class, drivers Laurin Heinrich and Seb Priaulx drove their Porsche 911 to the win for AO Racing.

Off the track, an estimated 150,000 came downtown to watch the races. The grandstands were sold out on Sunday for the second consecutive year and it was standing room only in the free access areas, which comprise more than half of the venue, over the course of the weekend.

Overall ticket sales revenue increased by more than 10 percent over the event’s return to downtown Detroit last summer. In addition to the paid attendance areas inside the event’s footprint, the Grand Prix once again featured a very inclusive event with free access provided all weekend in Hart Plaza, Spirit Plaza, the Detroit Riverwalk, down Woodward Avenue to Cadillac Square and Campus Martius Park and all along Jefferson Avenue through courtesy viewing platforms and activation areas on the blocks immediately north of Jefferson.

Saturday’s night’s free concerts — featuring EDM artists JVNA and Illenium — attracted more than 10,000 fans to the Grand Prix Entertainment Stage presented by Priority in Cadillac Square.

The number of people witnessing the Sunday main event also was impressive, according to promoters. The Total Audience Delivery (including television, digital, and out-of-home coverage), according to Nielsen ratings, topped 681,000 with Sunday’s race broadcast coverage on NBC’s USA Network and Peacock. It marked the highest-rated Detroit race cable broadcast ever and the fourth-highest NBC Sports’ IndyCar cable broadcast in history. Detroit led all markets across the United States in the IndyCar race television ratings, posting a 1.79 share.

Earned media coverage of the event saw an increase over 2023, when the Grand Prix returned to the streets of downtown Detroit for the first time in 32 years. The earned media coverage of this year’s event produced an advertising value equivalency of $208 million, which represents an increase of 38 percent over the 2023 event results.

Social media metrics for the Detroit Grand Prix were at an all-time high in 2024. The Detroit GP social media channels (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter/X, YouTube, TikTok and LinkedIn) delivered a total reach of 10.5 million during race weekend with more than 576,000 total engagements. IndyCar video views on YouTube measured 1.79 million during the Detroit Grand Prix weekend, representing the second-highest total of any NTT IndyCar Series event this season, trailing only the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 (2.1 million views).

“It was a fantastic weekend in downtown Detroit and we were so happy to see so many fans join us for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear,” says Michael Montri, president of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear. “From the racing on track to the packed grandstands and the strong viewership and social media coverage, it was a memorable three days in the Motor City and we appreciate all the support from our 95 partners –—the most we have ever had at our event — as well all of our fans, to make this year’s Grand Prix so special.”

The Grand Prix also delivered for its identified charitable causes during race weekend. Celebrating its 10th year in 2024, the annual PwC Grand Prixmiere presented by Chevrolet, on Friday evening May 31 in Campus Martius Park and Cadillac Square in downtown Detroit, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for five Detroit-area organizations. Through Grand Prixmiere donations, as well as some unique auction items and experiences, funds were raised to benefit the Belle Isle Conservancy, Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Detroit Public Safety Foundation, Detroit 300 Conservancy, and the Pope Francis Center in Detroit. Since 2014, the PwC Grand Prixmiere presented by Chevrolet has helped raise nearly $8 million for local charities.

For more information on the 2024 Detroit Grand Prix, visit DetroitGP.com.

Report: Detroit Residents Spend $1,640 Per Month on Bills, Lower than National Average

The average Detroit household pays $1,640 a month, or $19,681 a year for the 10 most common household bills, 23 percent lower than the national average, according to the 2024 doxo Cost of Bills Index Report. The city’s Cost of Bills Index in 77.

The Cost of Bills Index (COBI), also included as part of the doxoINSIGHTS toolkit, provides a new standard comparison index for the most fundamental expenses that comprise the cost of living in a given area.

In addition to the insights in the report, doxo has 2024 household spend information specific to Detroit, including the following:

Detroit households spend 53 percent of their income on household bills.

The household expenses in Detroit, on average, are 23 percent lower than the national average of $2,126, and 14 percent lower than the state average of $1,897.

Detroit is the 172nd most expensive city in Michigan for household bills.

To view the full report, visit here.

Red Wings to Host Sticks & Picks Festival at Little Caesars Arena June 28

On the evening of the first round of the 2024 NHL Entry Draft, June 28, Hockeytown will be the place to be as the Detroit Red Wings host the Sticks & Picks Festival, presented by Bud Light.

The family-friendly event will take place be outside Little Caesars Arena in the plaza areas, and inside the venue in the seating bowl.

The festival will run from 6-10 p.m., and tickets are $5, with children ages 2 and under receiving free admission. Parking will be available for $10 in the UWM, Trinity Health, and Temple West garages surrounding Little Caesars Arena and can be purchased in advance at ParkWhiz.com. ESPN’s live draft broadcast will begin at 7 p.m., with the Red Wings currently slated to pick 15th in the first round.

Tickets to the Sticks & Picks Festival can be purchased here, or at the Xfinity Box Office at Little Caesars Arena the day of the event from 4-8 p.m. For more information visit here.

Fans can enjoy live music and entertainment outside the arena and watch the entirety of the NHL Draft on the center hung videoboard in the lower level of the seating bowl.

Similar to recent draft parties, the Chevrolet Plaza will feature tailgate games, fan giveaways, artists and face painters, concessions, a variety of food trucks and Instagram photo opportunities, including a 360-Degree Camera. The Detroit Red Wings Foundation will host a Tent Sale in the Chevrolet Plaza, and Nütrl Vodka Seltzer sampling will be available for fans ages 21 and over.

Inside the arena, fans can enjoy Red Wings and Detroit Tigers co-branded giveaways, additional autograph opportunities with Red Wings alumni, a selfie station, LED mini golf, and Coca-Cola sampling. ESPN’s broadcast will be shown on the center hung videoboard – with sound – and will be lowered for prime viewing. Interviews with special guests and Draft analysis will take place during ESPN’s commercial breaks.

Select concessions will be available for purchase inside Little Caesars Arena, and Mike’s Pizza Bar and Detroit House will be open. The Team Store will also be open for attendees, with clearance items available featuring 50-75 percent discounts. Winged Wheel Nation members will receive an additional 10 percent off.

Chinese Laser Display Company Presents at DVN Detroit Workshop

Chinese laser display solution provider Appotronics attended the 31st Driving Vision News (DVN) Detroit Workshop on June 11-12 at the Laurel Manor in Livonia, along with the world’s leading automakers, including Audi, Ford Motor Co., and General Motors Co., as well as other Tier 1 automotive suppliers.

More than 300 technical experts and key decision makers from all over the world discussed the latest technologies and future trends of automotive lighting at the two-day event themed Lighting Technology and EE Architecture to Support New Mobility.

Han Meng, senior director of business development of Appotronics, delivered a speech titled “Immersive Cabin and Exterior Display” elaborating on the applications of Appotronics’ laser technologies in automotive lighting and illustrating the concepts of cabin and exterior display.

The rapid development of the smart vehicle industry prompted the iteration of cabin display scenarios, from the original button control mode to the latest human-vehicle interaction that integrates vehicle functions and entertainment, says Han. The display technologies also have evolved during the process. Compared with the traditional display technologies, such as LCD, LED, and OLED, the laser projection display boasts the advantages of flexible installation, smaller size, and higher reliability, plus the convenience to display on any surface, which will allow more possibilities and design freedom for cabin display.

He told the audience that Advanced Laser Phosphor Display (ALPD) technology, originally invented by Appotronics, is the only auto-grade laser display and illumination technology. It features auto-certified blue laser, colorful display, wide color gamut, and higher color rendering index (CRI). ALPD has been successfully applied on Aito M9, a flagship SUV launched by Huawei/Seres in December 2023, which comes with the industry’s first automotive cabin projector with a 32-inch rollable screen. Appotronics provides the core components for the M9 cabin projector.

Han shared that five months after its release, Aito M9 has received more than 90,000 locked-in orders with non-refundable deposits, citing Aito’s official announcement. The SUV’s weekly sales volume topped luxury vehicles above RMB 500,000 in the Chinese mainland for nine consecutive times, according to the Chinese tech media CNMO. Meanwhile, the automotive cabin projector has been highly recognized by consumers following their extensive hands-on experience.

Empowered by the flexible and cutting-edge ALPD technology, cabin projector, sunroof and side window display can convert the cabin into an immersive third living space full of fun, Han predicts.

Palmer Park to Host Log Cabin Day Sunday

The historic 139-year-old Log Cabin in Detroit’s Palmer Park will be the star during a free, family-friendly festival from 1-5 p.m. Sunday presented by People for Palmer Park (PPP).

The event is expected to be filled with music, art, history, hat and bonnet parade, a fashion contest, and free ice cream. Music will be provided by the Detroit Square Dance Band and Luther Keith Blues Band for dancing and fun for all ages.

“History comes alive on Log Cabin Day,” explains Stacy Varner, president of PFPP. “We are thrilled to present an old-fashioned ice cream social with free Guernsey Dairy ice cream to the first 500, as well as history reenactments with the 102nd USCT Black Civil War History Group and the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

“Gifted artists will demonstrate and exhibit African American quilts, weaving, embroidery, basket-making, spinning, blacksmithing, historic carpentry, and much more. Log Cabin Day is always fun, very memorable, and enriching for all ages.”

Kids can make hats and bonnets and parade in the Hat and Bonnet contest and fashion show where everyone wins prizes for their creative headwear. Brilliant Detroit will present storytelling and give away books in the Cabin’s parlor, and artist Bob Anderson will draw caricatures.

The massive Dutch front door of Palmer Park’s log cabin will open wide to celebrate Log Cabin Day, a national holiday honored annually in Palmer Park. Sen. Thomas Palmer and his wife Lizzie Merrill Palmer — portrayed by two members of People for Palmer Park (one is a descendent of the Palmer family) — will welcome guests into their home. Rustic on the exterior, the interior boasts 33 fully restored stained glass windows, an indoor commode, and other elements of a stately Victorian home of its 1885 era.

The Log Cabin has experienced many incarnations — a summer home for the Palmers in the late 1800s, a city-run museum of old-fashioned curiosities through much of the 20th century, and then an abandoned, boarded, and neglected home infested with raccoons until about a decade ago when PFPP and the city of Detroit embarked on a mission to restore and rebuild the cabin.

Designed by renowned architects George D. Mason and Zachariah Rice for the Palmers, the Log Cabin was party central for international dignitaries and friends of the Palmers, as well as local farmers and neighbors, in what then was the countryside outside of pre-auto industry Detroit.

In 1893, Sen. Palmer donated land — and soon after gave the cabin — to the city of Detroit with the stipulation that it always remain a park for the enjoyment of all. Log Cabin Day celebrates the rebirth of the cabin and of Palmer Park. People for Palmer Park’s Log Cabin Day sponsors include City of Detroit Parks & Recreation and Detroit General Services Departments and Guernsey Dairy.

Located between McNichols and 7 Mile roads and west of Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Palmer Park has been a nature park and recreation site for more than 130 years. The Log Cabin is located near the Mounted Police Station at 910 Merrill Plaisance. Free parking can be found nearby on Merrill Plaisance and Woodward Avenue.