Baltimore Looking to Host IndyCar Race

A group in Baltimore, Maryland, is in serious negotiations with city officials and the Indy Racing League (IRL) about hosting a Grand Prix on the city’s streets as early as 2011.

A company called Baltimore Racing Development (BRD) is proposing a Baltimore Grand Prix, either in the late summer or early fall of 2011. The company’s initial proposal calls for the GP to last for five years. BRD has been meeting with various city and state officials in an attempt to bring an IndyCar Series event to the city.

According to the group’s research, the race could draw as much as $100 million in revenue and 150,000 visitors to Baltimore. Both numbers will likely be big factors in helping win the city’s favor.

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon asked BRD to provide the study, but one of Dixon’s spokesmen, Ian Brennan, says no official decision has been made.

“We have had interest from the producers of two racing events,” said Brennan. “The concept is intriguing. Racing cars through the streets of downtown Baltimore raises numerous questions which still need to be answered.”

Brennan did not specify the other racing series, but given the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) has previously shared or split venues with the IRL, we wouldn’t be surprised to hear if the league was interested.

While no official decision has been made, the city is serious enough that Terry Hasseltine, Maryland’s sports marketing director, attended the Streets of St. Petersburg race in Florida in April.

“The stands were packed around every corner,” said Hasseltine. “People were just buzzing throughout the area. There had to be at least 110,000 people on that final day.”

If the race receives a green light, it would be modeled after existing IRL street races in Toronto, Canada, St. Petersburg, Florida, and Long Beach, California. The proposed course would run 2.4 miles along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

Source: The Baltimore Sun