Here’s some déjà vu for you: the city is seeking a new group to organize Baltimore’s 2012 Grand Prix. Downforce Racing — the group that took over the annual IndyCar race after the 2011 organizers’ dissolved with fees unpaid, investors uncompensated, and trees unplanted — hasn’t done, well, anything that would lead you to believe they were planning to hold a high-speed auto race on Baltimore City streets in four months. They haven’t advertised it, sold tickets, or even signed agreements with IndyCar and the Maryland Stadium Authority.
I’m sure that organizing an event of this magnitude is hard, but is it that hard? I mean, people do it, right? These races take place without incident in other cities, right?
Anyway, one thing is for sure. Simply not holding the race is not an option the city is considering at this point. Despite no ticket sales and the likely difficulty of landing a sponsor with only four months to go, the city has been in talks with IndyCar “to ensure this event takes place.” If it comes to it, IndyCar is prepared to manage the race directly. (Man, how shameful would that be?)
Here’s hoping this year’s race goes better than last year’s — though there’s no indication that it will.