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DATE News (chronologically)
09/05/11
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Baltimore Mayor talks about Grand Prix  
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake
MAYOR RAWLINGS‑BLAKE: I wished everyone when they were coming on stage good luck, but I really meant it what I said it to you. Congratulations! I'm so proud that Baltimore was able to host this event. We had an opportunity, with your help, to shine on an international stage, and I wanted to thank everyone who made this happen. There were so many people who, when we had traffic problems or parking problems or any delay, the nay sayers certainly had their day, until the race started, and I want to thank everyone that was involved to make sure that the nay sayers have been silenced.

People from around the country and all over have come to enjoy this race. It was an exciting race, a challenging course and I invite you back for next year.

WILL POWER: And we want to come back, we loved it.

MAYOR RAWLINGS‑BLAKE: Thank you so much. Thank you so much.

(Applause.)

Q. I had the pleasure of meeting you and your daughter yesterday. How did she like the race?

MAYOR RAWLINGS‑BLAKE: She was ecstatic. She got to show off Baltimore to her friends that don't live in Baltimore. Unfortunately she got her hair spray painted in three different colors, so I have to deal with that tomorrow. That being said, because the thing about the race ‑‑ and I don't know if you know because you spend your time in the cars, but this is a family‑friendly event.

You see families coming together. While there is plenty to do for adults, there is plenty to do for kids and kids took advantage of all of the opportunities, and she was so proud to show off her city to her guests.

Q. (Away from mic.) Your police commissioner, I'm surprised he didn't get his face painted!

MAYOR RAWLINGS‑BLAKE: He was casually dressed. I saw him.

Q. Can you touch on how much of a risk you took with the nay sayers?

MAYOR RAWLINGS‑BLAKE: I think anytime you do something big you take a risk. For me, I had an opportunity to make Baltimore shine. I think the nay sayers mistook it as an opportunity for me to shine and as my election ‑‑ reelection is a little over a week away, they thought that I was using this as an opportunity for me to shine, but it was never about me. This was about racing, about tourism, about economic development, and this was about making sure that we told the story for Baltimore. And with your help, making this race very exciting and suspenseful, we were able to tell the story of Baltimore that shows the future of our city. It was a bold move, but I'm willing to take chances so my city can succeed.

Q. Do you have information on the three days' attendance?

MAYOR RAWLINGS‑BLAKE: What I have heard from racing officials is that the crowds look bigger than they anticipated, so as soon as this is over and we take a post‑event analysis, we'll be able to say exactly. Thank you so much.

(Applause.)

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Mayor.

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