Baltimore Grand Prix axed (3rd Update)

UPDATE #4 Like we said, when in doubt, follow the money. Andretti Sports Management managing director Kevin Healy was confident that a new date, prior to Labor Day weekend would be secured for the Baltimore Grand Prix when he spoke to RACER on Sept. 6 something appeared to have changed between the city and event owner prior to the weekend.

That something appears to have been the lack of a title sponsor.

"Right now, without a sponsor, it would be hard to confirm a date for 2015," Kevin Harris, spokesperson for the Baltimore mayoral office confirmed.


The mayor told The Baltimore Sun there are no discussions about bringing the race back. Stick a fork in Baltimore, its done.

09/13/13 A reader asks, Dear, What's the real reason the Baltimore GP was cancelled? John Devins, Washington DC

Dear John, When in doubt follow the money. The overhead shots tell the story (right). Note all the empty seats. J.P. Grant, whose Race On, LLC, firm ran the event since 2012, revealed in an interview on Friday with the Baltimore Business Journal that the event would not continue. Based on the timing of the interview and its release it appears the IndyCar Series and Andretti Sports Marketing were blindsided by Grant's decision. “I’m sure we’re going to do it. It’s not a problem," Grand Prix General Manager Tim Mayer said August 30. We assume he finally got around to tally his revenue vs. cost and realized he lost his shirt. So IndyCar gets yet another black eye and IndyCar fans lose the most exciting track on the circuit. Mark C.

09/13/13 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' now. Another IndyCar race goes down the tubes. No continuity, no staying power. IndyCar comes off looking like a loser once again. The Grand Prix of Baltimore will not continue its run in Baltimore in 2014 and 2015 due to scheduling conflicts, race organizers announced Friday afternoon.

“Race On will not be able to participate in hosting the race going forward," J.P. Grant, a partner in Race On LLC, said. “Everyone involved in this matter has worked diligently and of good faith to make it happen. We explored every possible option."

The event may still return in 2016. A convention starts on Labor Day Monday in 2016 that would prevent the race from being held again in three years over that weekend, said Tom Noonan, CEO of Visit Baltimore. He said he can't predict what will happen 2-3 years from now in terms of finding another date.

More than 152,000 race fans turned out for the Labor Day weekend event in 2013, an increase from last year, but the city was unable to find dates for the races in the next two years.

“We just don’t have those dates in 2014 and 2015 for the Grand Prix," Visit Baltimore CEO Tom Noonan said. “It just became this puzzle that we couldn’t fit an opening together."

In 2012, Race On LLC’s first year running the annual street race, 131,000 fans turned out for the event. Both attendance and economic impact fell from 2011 to 2012, when the generated a $42.3 million economic impact on the region, down 10 percent from the inaugural race. Baltimore Business Journal

09/13/13 According at sources, the Baltimore Grand Prix has been cancelled for 2014 and 2015 because the promoter and the city could not agree on a date with IndyCar. If the race is off for two years, we doubt it will ever come back, especially now that the local media has turned against the race. You can bet that IndyCar will find a date for places like Milwaukee and Fontana, however, where they race in front of 15,000 and look like an embarrassment.

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