Reporting Alex DeMetrick
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been a big success in the past, so a push is underway now to bring the Volvo Ocean Race back to to Baltimore.
Alex DeMetrick explains it could also bring in millions of dollars.
Every two years, sailors race each other around the world to win the Volvo Ocean Race, but they aren’t the only ones competing: so are port cities. Baltimore has hosted the race three times, the last in 2006.
Monday, the city and a private sector bidder will pitch Volvo again.
Governor O’Malley said the race could bring good things to Baltimore.
“Lots of visitors, lots of economic development, lots of hotel rooms, a real positive event. I’m excited at the prospect the Volvo Ocean Race may be coming back to Baltimore, Maryland,” said O’Malley.
Almost from the time boats left, the city has been working to get them back.
A bid in 2009 for the 2012 race failed, but not for lack of trying.
“We really want it back in Baltimore. It’s a great event. We’ve seen the impact we’ve had three times in the past,” said Tom Noonan, the CEO of Visit Baltimore.
Money that moved through a lot of hands, from appetizers to sunglasses, local businesses scored sales off sails.
“I think it’s been exceptional,” said one merchant.
“I think we have a better than 50-50 shot at securing it,” said O’Malley.
Which is better than the odds of winning the race or even finishing it.
If Baltimore wins, it would be one of ten ports around the world to host the race.
The boats would arrive here in the spring of 2015.