NASCAR continues to recruit major sponsors for the inaugural Chicago Street Races, and Xfinity has been added to the line-up ahead of the 4th of July weekend event.
Xfinity, which was announced as a founding partner on Thursday, will have official presentation, marketing and promotion rights to the street course for the first time in NASCAR’s 75-year history.
The cable giant will also get something a little more unusual: its own private turn to South Michigan Avenue.
Xfinity will bet on brand rights to 10 of the 12 corners on the 2.2-mile racecourse that meanders down Grant Park and Dusable Lake Shore Drive. The Xfinity 10G turn sees the car circle around East He Congress Plaza Drive, heading towards the start/finish line at Buckingham Fountain.
“The Chicago Street Race is a great moment in NASCAR history and we couldn’t think of a better platform to showcase the Xfinity 10G network and Xfinity Mobile against the backdrop of the iconic Chicago skyline. Yes,” said Matt Lederer, Vice President of the Xfinity Brand. The partnership said in a news release.
Xfinity will become McDonald’s third founding partner for Chicago Street Races, joining Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Illinois, which signed the deal in March. But the company is already a major domestic sponsor and is currently in its ninth season in the second tier of NASCAR competition, the Xfinity Series.
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The Cup Series race, Grant Park 220, which will air on national television on July 2, will see NASCAR’s top drivers navigate closed roads lined with temporary fences, spectator stands and hospitality suites. According to the race website, speeds can exceed 160 mph in a straight line, slowing down around corners and traffic bottlenecks.
Another Xfinity Series race is scheduled for July 1st. The weekend of festivities includes full-length concerts headlined by Miranda Lambert, The Chainsmokers and The Black Crowes.
The Chicago Street Race, which is expected to draw 100,000 participants over the 4th of July weekend, could be a tourism boon for the city, as viewership and attendance have declined in recent years. It will be an opportunity to expand the fan base of NASCAR, which has suffered from
Ticket prices range from $269 for two days of general admission to $3,000 for a premium hospitality suite on Pit Road at Buckingham Fountain. Some sections of reserved seating are sold out, according to the race website.
Some of the sold-out sections include reserved seating along South Michigan Avenue exiting the Xfinity turn. However, there are still some reserved seats heading into Turn 10. Tickets cost $849 per person, which is about four times the average monthly cable bill.