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.