Documents Show Baltimore Grand Prix $12M In Debt

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Can a company take-over save the Baltimore Grand Prix? There’s a plan in the works.

Pat Warren has more on the future prospects of the race.

Less than $100,000 on hand, $12 million owed. Those are the figures reported by WJZ media partner the Baltimore Sun in a proposal to take over the Baltimore Grand Prix.

It all goes by in a blur, but leaves a mess behind that still needs to be cleaned up.

It’s Baltimore Racing Development hobbled by a reported $12 million in debt and humbled by a city threat to kick the Grand Prix to the curb if it doesn’t pay $1.9 million it owes the city by Dec. 31.

“That’s my No. 1 concern at this point is figuring out how those tax monies get paid,” said Councilman Bill Cole.

At the council swearing-in ceremony Thursday, Councilman Cole and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake addressed the possibility that a take-over by an investment firm would clear the debts.

Cole and the mayor were both outspoken supporters of the race and still consider it successful as an event.

“I want to make certain that the city taxes are paid, the amusement taxes are paid, and if there is a 2012 race there has to be a plan that allows it to be sustainable moving forward. We don’t want to have to do this every year,” Councilman Cole said.

According to WJZ media partner the Baltimore Sun, Wilkes Lane Capital would invest $3.3 million in Baltimore Racing Development for 58 percent of the company and cut racing expenses by half turn a profit next year.

But Mayor Rawlings-Blake says she’s standing firm on the Dec. 31 deadline regardless of who’s running the company.

The state has a lien against Baltimore Racing Development officials for unpaid taxes.

Calls to Wilkes Lane Capital were not returned.

More from Pat Warren
  • Matt

    How didn’t see this coming? Politicians were snuffed by the only people more crooked than themselves…businessmen.

    • Jeff Adams

      I am a businessman, worked for small business in the private sector since I turned 14. Are you saying I am crooked because I am a businessman? More so than say O’Malley, King of Thieves?

      Typical liberal Baltimorean response – business is the enemy.

      If you would take your head out of your rear end, maybe you could understand a basic principle of business – it is difficult to reap a profit the first year a venture is undertaken, however subsequent years CAN be profitable, say in this instance the roads will not need the investment again so that expenditure can pay off in the future. It can pay off in the future if the narrow minded people of Baltimore can understand how business ventures work. Not likely since the bulk of you vote for totalitarian State control in the name of Democrats.

      We all can’t be government employees. Private sector BUSINESSMEN keep government and whoever survives off of government afloat.

      • Eric

        I will grant you that the cost for the roads will not be what is was in the initial year but it will still be very significant…

        The Baltmore winter will do tremendous damage to those roads and they are still going to need plenty of work…to be race ready, those roads require very specific tolerances for those cars…that’s why that model works much better in a warm weather state like Florida where they aren’t subjected to the same freeze/thaw cycles you have in the north…

      • Jeff Adams

        You make a good point, but my response above was more to the point that yet another liberal believes that ALL businessmen are crooked, more so than the politicians.

        There is still hope, since it takes more than paving to make a race, and with many of those things dealt with last year maybe this year, with the help of BUSINESSMEN (emphasis for Steve Wilson and Matt) that are willing to step in, clear the tax issue and operate under a better plan.

        That is another business lesson for the liberally impaired, there is always someone else available and willing to bring opportunity where another failed.

  • Jethro Hooper

    the only positive thing is that the city actually fixed some streets. Not for the citizens, of course, but for a special interest that just sucked money into oblivion. Yeah, 10,000 families should move to Balt8imore!!!

  • robertryan

    What a wonder vetting process the city & BRC did on this bird.

  • po po po

    somehow the rst of the state will pay for the baltimore boon’s mistakes

  • willie joe

    It’s all George Bush’s fault.

  • Steve Wilson

    When will Government, at all levels, learn to STOP listing to businessmen? No businessman. Yeah, I read Jeff Adams’ posting. The fact remains that businessmen have been reaming the public forever. Also remember that the GOP is first and foremost the Party of Big Business and Government IS NOT a business!

    • Jeff Adams

      No businessmen. That is brilliant! Businessmen have every right to be heard, and should be heard. Yet another liberal ready to take rights away from someone. This is Maryland, where businessmen are being ignored by government or worse punished for trying to work.

      I am truly surprised you could read my post with your head in your rear end.

      This is a nation founded on the principle that EVERYONE be heard. Business is the only path we have to be free citizens. No surprise that liberals, such as yourself, wish to take away freedom from those who work hard and keep the economy afloat. The more liberal a state, the less free, as you have done an excellent job of helping me prove my point: your liberal rhetoric indicates that rights of ALL businessmen be removed so Government can control all aspects of peoples lives.

      Government is not a business, finally we agree on something. Government first of all could not survive and be profitable, so as a business would self destruct. Secondly, that is why Government cannot relate realistically to real world challenges because the career politicians we are stuck with have no experience other than Government, and that is at play in this issue. The Mayor (not unlike other politicians) had no clue of how to properly vet BRD because she has no real world experience.

      But alas, who is trying to save the day and make sure the taxes get paid? Businessmen, thats who.

      The fact never existed that all businessmen have been reaming the public forever. You would starve to death if not for businessmen, there would be no store in which to buy food, no one to grow and process and transport said food. But with your obvious head in rear end condition you cannot figure out that businessmen make our everyday life possible.

      The Democrats, Party of the People! Yeah, right. The party of Big Brother, and Totalitarian Control over our lives

  • baltimore sucks

    What a waste. The taxpayers will end up paying. What taxes will Stephanie raise now? My child missed 2 days of school because of the traffic. The first day, it took him 3 hours on a normal 35 minute ride. The next day he didn’t go. Bulid a permenent track somewhere if you want to have races.


    I hope the city never collects the money. The Grand Prix should have never been hosted in an urban city like Baltimore. I remember sitting in traffic downtown for hours as I tried to leave work . I hope it never comes back.

    • willie

      Good for you, STFU, What were you doing working on a labor day anyway. Baltimore got world wide positive exposure during the race as it was televised around the globe on Versus. So a few a-hole scamed the city, the city should have done a better job of vetting the person, person’s involved handling the money. There are very successful races such as Long Beach Ca, Montreal, St Petersburg etc. It can be done right. Lets looks at something besides murder in Balto.

      • matt

        the city started shutting down roads 3 days before the event. I got stuck in it every day for HOURS. i hope that race never comes back to Baltimore either. Funny how it was supposed to be this great national and worldwide event, but most of the people who attended were from Baltimore and surrounding counties not from way out of town as was hoped.

      • Jeff Adams

        Willie it is hard to get outsiders involved to make this a successful venture when the Baltimorons (Baltimoreans) cry and complain about some traffic delays around the race schedule. Those same people commented negatively all about this event before anything got off of the ground, and then they act surprised when the turnout is less than expected.

        I agree that this can be done right, the naysayers are the same ol’ naysayers that believe business is the enemy. You are spot on with your comment about other cities having success with races, the ones on here who say different don’t want anything in the city besides the blight that already exists. They are perfectly happy with Baltimore being known as the murder capital of the East Coast, something positive takes away from that.

        The same people who live in constant traffic congestion have the nerve to complain when someone tries to do good in Baltimore because they are inconvenienced. I am so glad my parents moved out of the city when I was young…if only they had left the whole state…

        Matt had to wait for HOURS while someone tried to make something positive happen in the city…what a totally selfish thought. Thats liberals for ya’

        The race as an event was squashed by the people dumber than Maryland politicians…the citizens of Baltimore.

  • Debbie

    This was a major inconvenience to citizens of Baltimore and Md, did not produce the promised results and doing the same thing and expecting different results…………
    Taxes are already out of control. We can’t afford another not so grand prix

  • Dale

    In reference to your statement Mr. Adams; there is hardly enough citizens in the city of Baltimore to pay for the mess that the so called politicians have created, Whether you know a little about politics or not is not important. However, if the streets had been prepared for the racing event. or by reason of resposibility of the governmant it would still be an issue of dept. It is stated in scripture ;1 Timothy 6:10 that the love of money is the root of all evil. Needless to say that any excuse is better than none. The only way to destroy ongoing destruction is to never create it. It only has a finite touch, it can be reversed.

    • Jeff Adams

      So what else is new? I live the pain of Maryland politics (and we all know which party that is) on a daily basis. The mess only gets larger with every brain fart of Annapolis, and King O’Malley.

      All of you that complain abput Ms. Rawlings-Blake need to remember those complaints when she makes her next move to the State House, the exact same path of O’Malley. “D” doesn’t mean delightful. Try not blindly voting for “D” in Maryland and you may see change, “d”,s may very well listen to people if they have to actually compete for votes.

      I don’t totally get your response, the scripture really. Whatever you believe makes little difference, but if it works for you then Mazletov, but I will relate this: money may be the root of all evil, some people make it that way with greed, but most of us who are business people are good people who work hard, provide goods and services to everyone and are not evil and do not do evil acts.

      • K. Smith

        Jeff you did not read correctly. The verse that Dale referred to does NOT say that money is the root of all evil. It says that the LOVE of money is the root of all evil. There is a difference. What it means is that if money is the object of our love first and foremost, that we will go after money and not worry about whatever gets trampled in the process. On the other hand, if we love our fellow man, regardless of race or status, we will seek for the good of every man first. There is a great deal wrong with the politics in Maryland and in the country. I think one of the problems is that no one sees their own part in the problem… or for that matter, in the solution.

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