Good Riddance, Grand Prix — Have Fun in Boston!

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IndyCar just announced that it will host a major race in Boston over Labor Day weekend next year. I guess that puts the final nail in the coffin of the Baltimore Grand Prix.

If Boston is smart, they could stand to learn a few lessons from Baltimore’s failed experiment with the annual street race. There are plenty of takeaways: Don’t cut down perfectly healthy trees. Get the community to buy in. Make sure the organizers pay the city what they’re supposed to. And don’t be taken in by spreadsheets promising skyrocketing tourism and tax revenue–Baltimore actually lost money on the race.

But I have a feeling Boston won’t listen to us. They’ve already signed a contract to host the Labor Day race through 2020 (though contracts don’t necessarily mean the race will happen). Let’s see how this goes…

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  1. I loved the GP of Baltimore!!! I hope they bring it back some day! By the way it not a stockcar race it is a open wheel race. Big Difference !!

  2. Gross stupidity of the highest magnitude to have ever considered it in the first place. The organizers of these races actually have to look for Mismanaged cities to act as potential sites. The upside for Baltimore was that not many downtown retail establishments were negatively affected by the race – because they don’t exist. No history of corruption, malfeasance, or incompetence in Boston, well something about a tunnel. Suffer Boston, so that others might enjoy their Labor Day.

  3. The Baltimore Grand Prix was an event that was too good for Baltimore.

    Throughout the sports and racing industries, it was widely acknowledged as being the most successful inaugural street race in North America, ever. It showed the world a sophisticated image of Baltimore that would have had huge long term benefits if it could have continued. It brought in lots of celebrities and businesses.

    But Baltimore couldn’t keep it. There were greedy politicians, who had no business sense, who structured that event so it couldn’t survive. Unfortunately the politicians held the trump card (control over the real estate) and had all the negotiation leverage.

    This is the same Mayor that gives the citizens “room to destroy” (her words), and set off the recent riots and looting. Many of the race event’s service providers were tied into the local politicians. So that created all sorts of problems.

    Look at the images of the Monoco Grand Prix (a similar race to Baltimore with fancy yachts next to the track, etc.). That’s not Baltimore.

    Look at the images of the recent Freddie Gray riots and looting. That’s Baltimore.

    I guess it’s too late to say be careful of what you wish for, you may get it.

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