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Grand Prix Write Off

February 15, 2012
By

The 2011 Baltimore Grand Prix. Photograph by Rarah.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced today a new Indy racing deal with a new team of race promoters that will, if all goes as planned, bring more Labor Day weekend speed to the streets of Baltimore for the next half decade.

It will not, however, pay the city the $1.3 million or so in back fees and taxes owed by the previous race masters, Baltimore Racing Development.

This fact is helpfully divulged in the city’s FAQ on the matter. Q. no. 9 reads:

Is the City being reimbursed for any payments owed by BRD by the new team?

No. The City and State expect to benefit significantly from the $47 million yearly economic impact and the positive national and international exposure generated by the event.

The Sun’s coverage is a bit more opaque on this matter, for some reason. But it does bring us the potentially helpful information that one of the new group’s principals, Daniel Reck, is an Enron alum.

He’d rather not talk about it.

Those interested can pour through Enron’s e-mails here. He’s in there.

Also stiffed on the deal is the Maryland Stadium Authority and, of course, the contractors who put up the grandstands and what-not. The city does claim to be working with Indy Car Sponsors to replant trees BRD chopped down last year (and promised to replace).

Not stiffed? Downforce Racing, the new racemasters, who the city is charging only $330,000 to put on the show. BRD was made to pay promise more than $1 million. The “community impact fund,” a $100,000 pile of vigorish styled last year as $5,000 and $10,000 payoffs to the several community associations surrounding the race course, will be cut nearly in half under the new deal.

But the key thing to know is that racing in Baltimore is very economically-developing. All those jobs! $47 million in economic impact! More skybox opportunities for bigwigs! Huzzuh!

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