Tag: indycar

SRB Proud of Grand Prix, Embarrassed by ‘The Wire’

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The Grand Prix of Baltimore is cancelled definitely for the next two years and almost definitely for every year following. But in an Op-Ed piece for the Baltimore Sun, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake stands by her statement three years ago that the annual street race would be a “game changer” for the city. Rawlings-Blake characterizes the Grand Prix as a success by framing it as primarily an image-booster for Baltimore. She credits the race with “shining a positive spotlight on Baltimore and broadcasting images of our beautiful harbor and downtown business district to households across the globe.”

She sees it as repairing the damage done to our reputation by “shows like The Wire.” Now, I get what she’s saying here. The Wire presents an image of Baltimore unfriendly to most types of tourism, and the Grand Prix shows the world another side of the city. But given the Grand Prix’s serial mismanagement and its economic impact of one disappointing and two we-don’t-want-to-knows, it’s strange she would choose to contrast it with a monumentally successful operation that pumped money into the city for five years straight.

Baltimore Grand Prix Changes Again (But Appears to Be Stabilizing)

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Famed Indy driver Michael Andretti says his Andretti Sports Marketing will be playing a smaller role in next year’s Grand Prix of Baltimore, after the national sports promotion firm stepped in (working in tandem with local Race On LLC) to save the flailing, and much maligned (at least ’round these parts) street race in 2012.

Baltimore Grand Prix: Same Old, Same Old

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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.

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