Baltimore and/or Maryland has very limited experience when it comes to automobile racing as compared to all our surrounding states. Look at the Formula One project that hopes to get underway next year in Austin, Texas. Or you may want to look to the cost incurred for seven races in Indianapolis. Then you can look at Richmond, Va., Dover, Del., and Pocono, Penn., for a NASCAR flavor. And then publish comparison findings.
I think, in general, you had some very inexperienced promoters willing to accept inflated costs by different Baltimore authorities. Everybody was attempting to put their hooks into the project in the hopes of a big pay day. That anchor became so heavy, it harpooned the project.
It sort of reminds me when William Donald Schaefer proposed rebuilding the Inner Harbor and people objected. Baltimore needs a new influx of promotional agendas. Many of these initiatives are difficult to measure. Some reflect immediate returns and others reflect future returns. Maybe Baltimore is not the right venue for automobile racing. I am an old codger, and I remember when Baltimore County waterways hosted professional hydroplane racing. Few people even realize that Bill French, who went to Florida to build the Daytona Speedway, hailed from Laurel, Maryland.
Tom Black, SparksCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun