A five-year agreement was finalized with Baltimore Racing Development (BRD) today to allow an IndyCar® ‘Baltimore Grand Prix’ street-racing event around the Inner Harbor and Camden Yards in August of 2011. 

The more than 100,000 people expected to attend the race will create an estimated $11 million in direct city tax revenue, form almost 2,000 full-time jobs and generate $250 million in spending.

“This is a game-changer for Baltimore,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.
The Baltimore Grand Prix is a three-day racing festival that will be free and open to the public. A parade, fireworks, concerts, charity receptions, and celebrity races will also be included in the fun.

Rawlings-Blake said the street race will “change the way the world sees Baltimore” due to the global media exposure that Indy Racing League (IRL) fans will bring to the city. The event will also be televised and watched by more than 3.5 million national viewers.  The city’s Economic Impact Report estimates that media and marketing exposure will make over $27.5 million over five years.

“For us, making sure that all city residents, businesses, and communities benefit from this event was a top priority,” BRD President Jay Davidson said.

The BRD and IRL are expected to complete the final sanction agreement in the next two weeks. As part of the agreement, BRD will share event revenues with the city and pay an annual event fee, comply with the City’s Minority/Women Business Enterprise Program (MBE/WBE) and create a “Community Benefit Fund” of no less than $500,000 over five years to make grants to community organizations in neighborhoods impacted by the event. 

“We’re looking forward to building you a world class event in 2011,” Davidson said.

 

MelanieR.Holmes

AFROStaffWriter