The 2021 Chicago Auto Show will be held from July 15-19, organizers officially announced Tuesday. If all goes to plan, it will be the first big-ticket U.S. auto show to return after its pandemic hiatus.
The organizers posted an announcement on the show's official web site outlining the scope of the "special edition" show, which will move to McCormick Place's West Building, where it can spill out into the sunshine to take advantage of the summer weather — a wild concept for a show typically held in February. This will allow test drive opportunities and other outdoor options that are otherwise more restricted by the indoor venue.
"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."
"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," Sloan said. "The timing has allowed us to get creative and try new things and the automakers have really embraced it."
Provided Chicago goes according to plan, it will remain in the lead-off slot for the 2021 show season, followed by the Los Angeles Auto Show (kicking off May 21), then the New York Auto Show (Aug. 20-29) and finally the Detroit Auto Show, which, like Chicago, will run in a limited format in 2021 under the banner of the new Motor Bella event to be held in Pontiac.