Formula 1 Is Coming to Chicago for a One-Off Street Demo on June 8
Get your earplugs ready.
This June, Formula 1 will grace the streets of Chicago, Illinois with its loud presence, and it will do so for free.
Since F1's commercial rights fell into the hands of American media conglomerate Liberty Media, F1 has been all about recapturing the public's attention, which was lost during the gradual migration to pay TV in recent decades. Getting F1's audience back requires desperate measures, and those in charge have decided that the best way to do it is by hosting free demonstrations of F1 cars on the streets of cities across the globe. Shanghai, Hanoi, London, Miami...and soon, Chicago.
Unlike tickets to a Grand Prix, or an expensive TV bundle, F1's festival in Chicago won't cost an arm and a leg to attend. Entry to Soldier Field, home of the NFL's Chicago Bears, will be free on the event's date of Saturday, June 8. Activities for the day include a live show run of F1 cars (hopefully not that weird fake Mercedes F1 car), watching the qualifying broadcast for the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix, and a performance by Americana band Judah & the Lion.
"Following the huge success of the Shanghai festival, we are excited to be heading to Chicago—a city known to hold the most enthusiastic of sports fans," proclaims Sean Bratches, F1's managing director of commercial operations. "We are looking forward to taking F1 to the US and immersing fans in the race day atmosphere and showing the Windy City all that F1 has to offer."
F1 officials have expressed a desire to host a second Grand Prix in the United States, alongside the current race held in Austin, Texas. Top candidates include New York City, Las Vegas, and the organizers' choice of Miami, but pushback from Miami locals has made the city's government hesitant to ink a hosting deal with F1, and the sport's overseers are now believed to be looking into Vegas instead.
In case you don't know what one of these street festivals looks like, here's the official video from the Miami event.