Chicago Auto Show officials have received approval from state and city officials to host a special, in-person edition of the show July 15-19 at McCormick Place, organizers announced.
The special edition show will move to the West Building of the McCormick Place complex and expand outdoors. With the show’s move, attendees will now experience more outdoor test-drive opportunities, test tracks and technology demonstrations, which will take place along Indiana Avenue and surrounding city streets, organizers said. Auto show fans will be able to enjoy favorites like the Camp Jeep and Ram Truck indoor test tracks as well as Subaru’s pet adoption event. Ford will also offer experiences featuring the new Bronco, Bronco Sport and all-electric Mustang Mach-E SUV.
“We’ve been working with McCormick Place officials for months on an opening plan, and very early on they saw that our show may provide a pathway to re-opening the facility,” said Chicago Auto Show general manager Dave Sloan. “We stand committed to providing a safe environment for all involved and will carefully adhere to the health and safety protocols and guidelines set forth by city and state officials. McCormick Place is an important economic engine for our city and state, and we take very seriously the responsibility that comes with helping to get it running again.”
The show’s 2021 plan begins with an electronic ticketing process. Tickets for the 2021 Chicago Auto Show will be sold exclusively online. Attendees will be able to select their preferred attendance date and time utilizing timed entrance windows designed to carefully control crowd capacity throughout each event day. Show organizers will also intentionally regulate the number of attendees throughout the day to control the number of people on the show floor at any given time.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to pre-register for onsite activations including indoor and outdoor test track and ride-and-drive events. This will allow attendees to schedule participation in various show attractions ahead of time, diminishing lines and reducing congestion within exhibits, organizers said.
“While we believe February is the right time for the Chicago Auto Show to have its biggest impact on the industry and the area economy, we’re thrilled to be able to experiment with the July dates,” said Sloan. “The timing has allowed us to get creative and try new things and the automakers have really embraced it.”
Among their new ideas, Chicago Auto Show organizers are seeking approval on plans to transform Indiana Avenue into an automotive street festival in the evening of most show days featuring local food, entertainment and new cars and trucks.