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Future Of Baltimore Grand Prix Still A Question Amid Debts

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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.

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