Reporting Christie Ileto
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s streets are changing shape as construction starts for the Grand Prix of Baltimore Labor Day weekend.
Christie Ileto explains the track is coming together in a shorter period of time.
It happens in just three weeks–that’s 10 days shorter than last year. Event organizers say that’s not the only thing changing this year.
Baltimore’s streets are looking less city-like and more like an IndyCar race course. Construction for the three-day Grand Prix of Baltimore starts Tuesday.
“We’ve gone from 31 days last year to 21 days of build this year,” said General Manager Tim Mayer.
Mayer says working with the city is making construction go faster.
An army of workers will put in 22 million pounds of concrete block, 3,700 feet of fencing and 18 miles of cables for the course that runs through the city.
The track build will start on Conway leading toward Charles Street. It will happen between 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. so it doesn’t impact rush hour traffic.
“Great race track, atmosphere,” said driver Tommy Milner. “Great racing. Lots of fun.”
Tommy Milner is no stranger to the 12 turn, two-mile course.
“It’s pretty fun going over the light rail tracks over here,” he said. “The cars move around quite a bit.”
And the course isn’t the only attraction expected to draw crowds.
There will be an indoor kids zone and the musical group Live headlines a concert. There will be a free admission for kids 12 and under with a ticketed adult and student discounts with a school ID.
“We’re ahead of last year. Sponsorship’s ahead, ticket sales are ahead,” Mayer said.
It’s a growing event organizers say they will be here for the long run.
Organizers wouldn’t say how many tickets have been sold but they say it’s higher than last year’s, which was about 130,000.