Reporting Meghan McCorkell
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.