City Of Baltimore Terminates Contract With Grand Prix Organizers

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– It may be the finish line for the Baltimore Grand Prix. The city has terminated its contract with the Baltimore Racing Development (BRD).

Meghan McCorkell has more on what that means for the future of the race.

BRD is reportedly $12 million in debt. Nearly $2 million owed to the city. Now, city officials say their patience has run out.

The first Baltimore Grand Prix may be the last with the BRD in the red for millions.

BRD owes $950,000 in city services. More than $50,000 for parking during race week. Half a million in taxes. And a quarter million for the event fee.

The mayor set a December 31 deadline for the BRD to pay up or it would be the finish line for the Grand Prix.

“I was very clear. Restructure. Recapitalize. Sell. But they need to pay their debts,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said on December 20.

After the ultimatum, former CEO Jay Davidson told WJZ they couldn’t cover costs.

“If they ask for us to do it without running the race again, I mean, no, we don’t have the money just sitting there,” he said on November 7. “Otherwise we would have paid it.”

In a statement Friday, the mayor said BRD’s corporate officers and managers have failed to take the appropriate steps to put the company on a sustainable path forward.

The only way the race could go on– if another group steps in.

“I think the time is really tight to try to do that at this point,” Activist David Troy said.

Troy sued race officials for cutting down trees along the track. He says they were on shaky ground way before the checkered flag.

“Without a lead sponsor, there was really no way to imagine how they were going to cover all the costs that were associated with the race,” he explained.

Now, it’s those costs that may bring the race to a screeching halt.

If a new group steps up to run the race, it would need approval from both the city and IndyCar. IndyCar officials say they’re hoping to find that group.

The state has filed a tax lien against the BRD. WJZ reached out to members of the board Friday night. They did not return our phone calls.

More from Meghan McCorkell
Comments

One Comment

  1. JackDaniels says:

    OH, THIS RACE IS GONNA BRING IN GO-ZILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO THE CITY………………….WHAT A CROCK!!!!! ANY MONEY THAT WAS SPENT BY FANS WENT RIGHT OUT OF THE CITY WHEN THEY LEFT………………RACES AND SOCCER GAMES AREN’T GONNA HELP THE ECONOMY OF BALTIMORE OR THE STATE OF MARYLAND……………..GET THOSE STEEL MILLS BACK UP AND RUNNING AND START OPENING OTHER FACTORIES IN MARYLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Joe says:

      That isn’t goiing to happen. Steel Mills and factories are the result of a majority republican senate and house during the clinton years. clinton made a deal with those devils in signinng our lives away with NAFA and GANT to say the least. American protectionism is gone,gone GONE! We have been sold out by the 1% several decades ago. 2008 is a sign that the “old” money is running out from those who enjoyed the earlier years. It’s time for hanging those responsible like they do in other countries. Until that happens its nothing more than lip service and what has that gotten you.

      1. Liberal Soldier says:

        Bingo Joe!!!!!! Many don’t want to admit it but NAFTA and GANT killed America as an industrial nation and was the biggest contributor of job lose by the millions in America. Thanks Bill Clinton. Many fought so hard against it or at least a scaled down version but the Republicans and Democrats had dollar signs in their eyes and pushed it through.

  2. RS says:

    I knew it was going to be a dud from day one. Had they put it out in a less populated area traffic wise, it may have had a fighting chance. Instead they inconvenienced the commuters of Baltimore (my dad being one of them), & for what ? Not to mention I don’t know where they think we all would be able to get the money from to be able to afford to watch this.

  3. ZEKE says:

    …..do terminating the contract make them race ists??

  4. Mike Calo says:

    I concur with JackDaniels – do something REAL for the city that will bring in PERMANENT jobs to generate money that will stay in MARYLAND – which, naturally, includes having the company owned by AMERICANS, not Arabs or Indians or Germans or any other foreign nation.

  5. jay says:

    Gran Prix + Baltimore City = A BIG JOKE!

    Let us face it, NOBODY wants to live or work in a crime, drug, and corruption infested DUMP like Baltimore City! Over th years, more and more residents and companys have left Baltimore, simply because it is a very unsafe place to live and work.

  6. Mongo says:

    As someone who has helped promote racing events in the past, I can say they rarely turn a profit for the promoters on the inaugural event. In most cases, you lose money on the inaugural event. You come back the following year with improvemnents on what you learned the first year, and hope to break even. Events like this usually don’t start making money for the promoter until the 3rd to 5th year.

    As for the other concerns regarding local jobs and the local economy, nothing is ever going to change as long as there is a Democrat majority controlled legislature at the local level in Baltimore, and at the state level in Annapolis. Time and time again, all they have shown is their ability to increase taxes and spending, with poor results.

    Joe…if you’re going to discuss something, at least get your information right. It’s NAFTA and GATT and NAFTA was signed by Clinton after a Democrat majority controlled Congress (which was still in session) passed it. Having said that, it was George H.W. Bush who signed the initial agreement before Clinton took office. GATT has been around since 1947, undergoing several changes/updates since, with arguably the biggest (and some say the most detrimental to USA interests) in 1993 when the WTO was created. Guess who controlled Congress then? Democrats…with Clinton in the White House.

  7. kingshawn says:

    Baltimore is a joke of a city….point blank

  8. Sezmane says:

    So who ends up paying for this??

  9. 1uniquemonique says:

    The same city residents who said this was a waste of taxpayer’s money had the nerve to elect Stephanie Rawlings as mayor.

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