Baltimore threatens to pull the plug on the IndyCar and ALMS event

Nancy Knapp Schilke

Baltimore Racing Development (BRD) has found themselves in hot water after the inaugural street circuit event this year. Both the IndyCar and the American Le Mans series put on a good show but now it appears that the organizers have not been able to pay their debts to the city of Baltimore and the vendors.

Per the Baltimore Business Journal, even Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who supported the BRD and therefore the Baltimore GP has joined the group who now is criticizing the BRD. The fan turnout was better than expected but a recent report showed that the projections placed before the event of $47 million was $23 million less for the region’s potential income.

The news that has now come forth includes the cancelling of the event despite a five-year contract. The BRD needs to restructure their finances in order to pay the debt they owe.

Start: #16 Dyson Racing Team Lola B09/86: Chris Dyson, Guy Smith leads the field
Start: #16 Dyson Racing Team Lola B09/86: Chris Dyson, Guy Smith leads the field

Photo by: Adriano Manocchia

"BRD must also work immediately to pay debts owed to the City and taxes owed to the city and state by Dec. 31, 2011, aggressively work to repay any debts to vendors, and present a restructured company and management team, or the City will terminate its contract with BRD," Deputy Mayor Kaliope Parthemos said in a statement.

The city is actually taking a step to ask for reimbursement of only half of the $1.5 million owed to them for providing services before and during the event. Add to that the fact that six lawsuits have now been filed against the BRD.

With the ongoing economic crisis worldwide, the news does not come at a surprise and it is a wonder that other cities are still hosting race events and new ones are bidding to host a motor sports event. Case in point is the recent news that New Jersey has received approval for a Formula One race and while the premier series draws the most fans at any motor sports venue, the cost to the organizers is far higher than what BRD owes to the city of Baltimore and to the vendors.

There has been no statement from the BRD at this time. It has been discovered that their CEO Jay Davidson has relinquished his position but is apparently still with the company but his specific position has not been announced.

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Series ALMS , INDYCAR
Tags alms, baltimore, featured, indycar, schilke

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