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City to Baltimore Grand Prix: Pay Up

[caption id="attachment_11200" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Rarah Photo"][/caption] A city official told Baltimore Racing Development to either reorganize or sell itself, citing about $1.5 million in unpaid bills to the city. "The Grand Prix generated $47 million in economic impact for Baltimore and proved valuable in terms of positive media exposure and civic pride. However, Baltimore Racing Development (BRD) has not honored the terms of its contract with the City," read a statement attributed to Kaliope Parthemos, the deputy mayor for economic and neighborhood development, released by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's office. "BRD must immediately restructure and recapitalize or sell itself to investors in order to make the event profitable in the future." The release says that BRD owes the city as follows:

A mayoral spokesman did not immediately return

City Paper'

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s call. BRD has faced financial problems almost from its inception, and currently faces four lawsuits from vendors, investors, and company founder Steven Wehner. Although the event was touted as a grand success, with more in attendance than planners have hoped, the economic impact fell short of projections. Dennis Coates, a University of Maryland economist who studies big sporting events, put the full impact at about $25 million in a working paper several weeks ago (

). A study done for Visit Baltimore

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The original projections touted by BRD said fans would bring $70 million to the region. The Indy Racing League has put Baltimore on its 2012 schedule. It suffered a tragedy last month when Dan Wheldon, a two-time former Indy 500 winner,

.

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