IndyCar runs third Grand Prix downtown, then announces it's not returning.
Gentlemen, start your engines. But do it someplace else.
No sooner had Baltimore hosted its third Grand Prix, on Labor Day weekend, city officials announced the IndyCar race would not return for the next two years, which means it's probably gone forever. Scheduling conflicts are the reason. Next year, it's the Ohio State-Navy football game at M&T Bank Stadium; in 2015, an American Legion conference has dibs on the downtown area that weekend.
A race official said any chance of Baltimore renewing the Grand Prix after that would amount to "an uphill battle into the wind."
Simon Pagenaud, a 29-year-old Frenchman, won the collision-strewn 2.4-mile race around the Inner Harbor, which drew 152,000 fans -- more than last year but less than the 160,000 who attended the initial event in 2011, when organizers stiffed the city for $1.5 million they owed.
So how will the Grand Prix be remembered? For the $130 million in economic impact that it reportedly generated over three years? The $7 million in roadwork that the city paid out to prepare the course? The national TV exposure that the race brought to Baltimore? The traffic-snarling barriers that plagued motorists? Or the nearly three dozen trees that were razed to give crowds a cleaner view of the race?
Take your pick. (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun /September 1, 2013)
Throughout this section our writers highlight noteworthy articles from the year, but we also wanted to know what readers thought, so we asked them to pick the top 10 local articles from a selection of 20 in a baltimoresun.com poll. Three hundred and seventy-three ballots were cast. The results:
Ravens win the Super Bowl: 344 votes
Fan pride remains strong almost a year later, even though the current season got off to a rocky start.
Black Guerrilla Family scandal hits city jail : 279 votes
The drama of the story seems to have captivated readers.
Ray Lewis retires: 267 votes
He's gone from Baltimore, but not forgotten. And fans can still see him on ESPN.
Gay couples celebrate first legal weddings in Maryland: 250 votes
Maryland joined other states in legalizing gay marriage.
Chris Davis sets Orioles' record for home runs: 245 votes
O's fans rallied behind the All-Star first baseman.
Summer violence plagues Baltimore: 234 votes
It was a tense, fearful season in the city.
Maryland repeals the death penalty: 220 votes
Readers were passionate on both sides of this debate.
Sequestration and government shutdown affect Maryland workers: 210 votes
Washington politics reverberated throughout the state.
Maryland passes gun control legislation: 203 votes
Another General Assembly action that was a hot topic.
City speed camera program remains troubled: 187 votes
Our investigation and its impact resonated with readers.
Bradley Manning case, 162; Obamacare glitches, 152; 'Rain tax,' 150; Marylanders among the injured in Boston bombings, 148; Grand Prix canceled, 130; Release of violent offenders, 124; Ben Carson retires, becomes commentator, 113; John R. Leopold trial and resignation,105; Harbor Point financing and environmental controversies, 105; Baltimore schools chief resigns, 102.
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