Despite Expecting to Lose Money, Grand Prix Organizers Promise to Pay All Bills

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You gotta love this. Race On, the current Baltimore Grand Prix organizers are expecting to lose money on this year’s street race, and have insisted that despite that no fees will go unpaid. It’s good fodder for Baltimore’s pastime of self-deprecation — year two of this godforsaken race, and it’s still a losing venture!

On the other hand, new businesses rarely turn a profit in their first year. And that’s apparently how Race On’s financier, J.P. Grant, looks at it. “My goal for this year is to stabilize the race,” he told The Sun Tuesday. And as funny as it sounds (well, to me, anyway), it’s probably just the attitude and perspective that Baltimore Racing Development, organizers of last year’s Grand Prix, lacked, which left them with no plan to repay vendors and the city after the numbers didn’t stack how they would have liked.

I’m holding out hope that Race On will live up to their claims. In addition to their preemptive assurances that they won’t skip out on fees, they’ve agreed to pay for half the cost of planting new trees to replace the ones cut down last year, and have promised to not cut down any for this year’s race. According to The Baltimore Sun, J.P. Grant is a member of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s “inner circle.” So let’s hope at the very least he’ll make good on his promises for the sake of his old pal Stephanie.



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2 COMMENTS

  1. Unfortunately for Baltimoreans, stabilizing the GP race is just a portion of the real story. Andretti Sports Marketing and RaceOnBaltimore has decided to scale back the 2012 version of the GP of Baltimore by eliminating most of the ‘World Class’ Festival of Speed amenities that the Mayor touted, such as the highly popular Corrigan 5K Grand Prix race/walk around the GP circuit that drew over 2,000 participants last year. Gone will be the local non-profit sponsored/participation of the family-oriented ‘Kid’s Zone’, and the highly successful ‘Preakness-type’ infield with mega bands (over 20 last year) that performed throughout the three day event. There probably will be a Ferris wheel…just like the ones up York Road at the Maryland State Fair grounds! No official word from Andretti Sports Marketing about the very successful ‘car corrals’ that featured Porsche, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar and other exotic sports cars in the ALMS paddock area. Last year’s ‘car corral’ participants who purchased thousands of tickets are still waiting to hear whether or not they will be invited back or not. What is ASM thinking. Are they so disorganized? Bottom line: The 2012 GP version will become a bare bones street race for the benefit of the national TV audience, and to satisfy the IndyCar schedule. For Baltimoreans….perhaps the promise of the Mayor’s pledge for transparency is still clouded in tire smoke with lots of carnival mirrors. What a shame….what a sham.

  2. Would you blame the “bare bones” nature of this year’s race on Race On and Andretti Sports Marketing? Isn’t the scale back reasonable considering what a late start the organizers got?

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