Will Baltimore host an event in 2012?

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Motorsport.com staff reporters

Due to financial woes, the second running of the Baltimore street circuit appeared to be in jeopardy for 2012; however the latest reports from the city indicates that the event might have a green light. As of early November the race in Maryland appeared to be off the grid when the Baltimore Racing Development (BRD) were not able to pay their debts to the city and the vendors; even though the fan turnout for the inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series race plus the American Le Mans Series event was better than expected.

In November, city officials were prepared to cancel the event despite a five-year contract. However, at the same time, they lowered the amount that the BRD owed the city and gave the organizers time to turn things around.

"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 in early November.

Fan ambiance
Fan ambiance

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

On the same day that IndyCar officially stated they would not return to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2012, the news from Baltimore appeared far more positive than it did one month ago. At this time, IndyCar officials, Baltimore's mayor and city officials remain positive that the event will continue.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has remained a supporter but did state that the BRD "needs a new management team."

Per The Baltimore Sun, the idea of a new management team appears to be in the works. The local city newspaper reported that there is "an investment firm headed by former Goldman Sachs and Constellation Energy executive Felix J. Dawson". The question remains whether or not the leadership of the BRD will agree. No word from the BRD at this time.

Terry Angstadt, president of IndyCar's commercial division, will not be with IndyCar next year but remains in his position at this time. Per The Baltimore Sun, Angstadt claimed "that IndyCar would be 'happy' to transfer licensing rights for the event to a new firm."

Still there are those who are owed a great deal of money that want to be paid by the BRD before the next event; especially the vendors. While this latest news on the Baltimore race is more positive, there are still a lot of financial items that need to be worked out. They are not the first event to have issues of this kind as one can look back at other temporary circuits like Cleveland, Houston, Detroit, Phoenix plus even permanent tracks have had their woes while at this present time, the new Austin circuit needs to finish being built to host a Formula One event next year. Perhaps those who plan to host an event should look at the structure done by the organizers of the Long Beach street race. Even with the pull out of Formula One years ago, they did not shut down and managed to continue hosting world class events.

Track construction is one of the major costs of a temporary street circuit
Track construction is one of the major costs of a temporary street circuit

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

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Series INDYCAR
Tags baltimore, featured, indycar, izod