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Downtown Chicago street closures begin for NASCAR Street Race

Downtown Chicago street closures begin for NASCAR Street Race
Downtown Chicago street closures begin for NASCAR Street Race 02:27

CHICAGO (CBS) – Street closures for the upcoming 2024 NASCAR Street Race in Chicago began Monday, with the event less than a month away.

A portion of Ida B. Wells Drive was closed starting Monday. The bulk of the street closures will begin on June 27.

Organizers said they've learned several lessons from last year's inaugural race. The big difference this year is that the set-up and breakdown of the downtown area will only last 19 days instead of 25 days like it took last year.

"They learned a lot last year, so a much better job of trying to shrink the impact," said Michael Edwards, president and CEO of the Chicago Loop Alliance.

Minimizing disruptions for residents and businesses was one of the many issues NASCAR and the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications aimed to improve.

Chicago NASCAR Street Race preparations will require less street closure time 02:44

Organizers also made changes to pricing. This year, Saturday's big even will be free for children ages 12 and under. Also, unlike last year, single-day tickets will also be available for purchase.

After raking in $109 million in revenue for the city, creating 750 jobs and drawing more than 47,000 spectators last year, the expectations this year are just as high.

"I think last year, we all got a glimpse of how powerful this event could be," said Edwards. "With a little sunshine,  I think it will be much more impactful than it was even last year."

Edwards added that this year's race presents an opportunity, "to really change the national narrative about Chicago, show what a dynamic place it is."

The Chicago NASCAR Street Race will take place July 6 and July 7. Here is a list of the full schedule of street closures and suggested alternative routes.

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