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Baltimore Grand Prix In Debt; Owes Money To The State, Vendors

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Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Trying to collect. The Baltimore Grand Prix owes more money than it made, including unpaid taxes.

Political reporter Pat Warren has reaction from a key organizer, now the former CEO.

The inaugural year of the Baltimore Grand Prix was a hit with fans!

“It was great!” one racing fan said.

“The speed, the camaraderie of the drivers,” another fan said.

“It was amazing,” said another.

“It’s driving me crazy, going ‘vroom, vroom, vroom,'” one exclaimed.

But it missed the money.

“They’ve got to be raking in money. Look at all the people here,” one spectator said during the Grand Prix.

But in its first year out, the Grand Prix was a money pit. WJZ has learned that hundreds of thousands of dollars in admission and amusement taxes due Oct. 10 have not been paid. Race spokesman Jay Davidson told WJZ payment arrangements are in the works with the state and others.

“We got some vendors that we owe money to. And we’re working, basically, on a payment plan,” said Davidson.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake refused to answer questions about money owed to the city. The race has also missed payment to the Stadium Authority, and there are other outstanding loans, including one owed to Davidson’s father-in-law.

“My father-in-law is owed some money as a couple of us are, frankly,” Davidson said. “And I don’t have the juice nor would I push the company to settle with him before anybody else was paid.”

And creditors have been assured the debts will be paid.

Reporter: “So you haven’t gotten to a Plan B? What happens if we can’t pay the bills?”
Davidson: “No, we haven’t gotten to a Plan B yet. No.”

Davidson said he has voluntarily resigned as CEO, but still has an active role in the race. And he said the race is still on.

The city has not released its official report on the Baltimore Grand Prix yet. It is expected to be released on Friday.

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