Future Of Baltimore Grand Prix Still A Question Amid Debts

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The future of Baltimore’s Grand Prix hangs in the balance. The first race, earlier this year, was a financial disaster.

But now Adam May reports the Baltimore Grand Prix may get a second chance.

The new Indy Car schedule for 2012 lists the streets of Baltimore as one of about a dozen races on the calendar. There’s even a countdown clock to Sept. 2.

But Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has threatened to pull the plug over a mountain of unpaid bills to vendors and the government.

“I was very clear. Restructure. Recapitalize. Sell. But they need to pay their debts so we can move forward,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said.

Last month, the state placed a tax lien on Baltimore Racing Development.

“I know they own money to Baltimore and vendors, but when they own money to the tax man they’re in trouble,” said Comptroller Peter Franchot.

Race organizers owe three quarters of a million dollars in city services, nearly half a million for admissions and amusement tax, $250,000 for a race event fee, and $50,000 for parking at city owned facilities.

“I wanna make sure the city taxes are paid, the amusement taxes are paid, and if there’s a 2012 race there needs to a plan. We don’t want to do this every year,” said Councilman William Cole.

Former race CEO Jay Davidson stepped down amid the financial controversy.

“We don’t have the money or we would have paid it,” he said.

Now a group of investors are reportedly trying to clean up the mess.

As Indy car warns, the schedules is subject to change.

The city and race organizers have a five year contract. The mayor said she will cancel it if the bills aren’t paid by Dec. 31.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Darryl says:

    Baltimore’s not built for this.. There is no money to be made.. It will stay in the red..

  2. then he said says:

    keep the race cars on the race track! it only creates headaches for all the locals. maybe the bottle tax could cover the outstanding balance? hahahah

  3. $$$$$$$$$$ says:

    GET THE MONEY FROM ALL THE PUBLIC RAN GOLF COURSES$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ MOUNT PLEASANT GOLF COURSE, PINE RIDGE GOLF COURSE, LAKE CLIFTON GOLF COURSE, ALL CITY RAN, CITY MONEY$$$$$$$$$ SHOW BALTIMORE THE MONEY,,,,,THAT IS A LOT OF LAND TO BE HITTING THAT LITTLE WHITE BALL,THEN CHASING IT

  4. Joel says:

    The reason the 1st one lost money was the start up costs that effect EVERY 1st time race. This year we have the barriers teh fences etc still here dont need to purchase them no street race has ever made much of any money the 1st year. If baltimore lets someone else run the race next year they will be printing $$$. The race weekend itself made the city millions of $$ its the paperwork that got f-ed up and thats equally the fault of BRD and Baltimore for letting them have that long of a leash

  5. RacerBoy says:

    After a few BIG snow and ice storms, the infamous DPW snow plowers will be tearing up (metal to pavement plowing) all the race course streets that were resurfaced with Federal Stimulus $$$$s. Where is the needed $$$$ millions coming from to repair the race course streets going to come from for the 2012 BGP? The BGP is waytoo BiG to handle for B’more!

  6. whatnow says:

    A lot of the stands and fencing is rented along with the labor. If you are a race fan and watch Speed Channel, especially Speed News and Wind Tunnel, you would learn that the vast majority of city road course races are stopped after a year or too because they are NOT money makers. It has been that way for years and always will be. The real money makers are NASCAR tracks. Baltimore County had a shot for one about 15 years ago right before NASCAR exploded in popularity and they turned it down. Look at the lost millions. Why can the common folk see something that the politicians cannot? I’ve always wondered that.

    1. Joel says:

      The fencing they used here IS NOT rented,,, head towards the Hanover street bridge near port covington headed south bound and look to your right,, you cant miss the stacks of barriers in the city storage lot. The fencing is next to the shed on the other side of the same property. The stands were rented I believe. But the comment about vast majority is false,, long beach, detroit, ft lauderdale, that one up in alberta? they have been in business for years,, they have to find someone who has a clue and have a clue themselves, i know thats asking alot but its possible. Nascar isnt making the $$ it used to either so thats not neccesarily teh answer either.

  7. baltimore sucks says:

    The mayor is only a child. She is making a lot of childess decisions. I knew this race was a waste when they first mentioned it.

  8. Sammy says:

    Race of cars or a race to the bottom by the black leadership of Bloodmore, that is the real issue.

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