NASCAR took home honors for ‘Event of the Year‘ for the first-ever Chicago Street Race during the 2024 Sports Business Awards, a ceremony hosted by Sports Business Journal in New York City last evening to celebrate the best in sports business over the past year.

The award, which highlights the most outstanding events in sports, was recognition for one of the most ambitious events in NASCAR history. The Chicago Street Race, a first-of-its-kind two-day sports and entertainment event, saw stock cars take to city streets for the first time in the sport‘s 75-year history, resulting in extraordinary levels of fan engagement, including more than 80% of ticket buyers attending a NASCAR event for the first time; the most-watched Cup Series race on NBC in six years; and an economic impact of more than $108.9 million for the local Chicago community.

“We‘re incredibly proud of the first-ever Chicago Street Race, and we‘re honored to have Sports Business Journal recognize it as the ‘Event of The Year‘,” said Steve Phelps, President, NASCAR. “Following the leadership of Ben Kennedy, Julie Giese and many others, the entire NASCAR industry and the city of Chicago banded together to pull off something truly extraordinary that has opened up an entirely new world of possibility for this sport moving forward. We can‘t wait to get back to Chicago for the second running this July.”

In approximately 12 months lead-time, NASCAR established an event that was not just a race in Chicago but was an event about and for Chicago — an opportunity to showcase the best of one of the world‘s most recognizable cities on a global scale. From local artists designing the race-winning trophies to becoming ingrained in the community through local partnerships with organizations like Chicago Public Schools, Special Olympics of Illinois, the Art Institute of Chicago, After School Matters and All Kids Bike, NASCAR quickly became a pillar of the community and invested nearly $2 million in local initiatives throughout Chicago.

What‘s more, NASCAR immediately established a new, permanent Chicago office in Nov. of 2022 immediately following the announcement that NASCAR would be coming to the city. Led by longtime executive and track president Julie Giese, the office currently has nearly 20 full-time employees, all of whom live and work year-round in the community.

The NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series will once again take to the streets of Chicago, along with musical performances by Keith Urban, The Chainsmokers, The Black Keys, Lauren Alaina, and a special House Music 40th Anniversary Showcase, for year two of the event on July 6-7, 2024.

Joining the Chicago Street Race as finalists for the ‘Event of the Year‘ award were the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, NHL Stadium Series, Super Bowl LVIII, U.S. Open Tennis Championships, and the World Baseball Classic.

As part of the ceremony, NASCAR was also recognized as a finalist for ‘League of the Year‘, and NASCAR‘s new media rights deal was a finalist for ‘Deal of the Year‘.


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