Yesterday there was a press conference regarding how Baltimore’s economy benefited from the Baltimore Grand Prix. I was invited and attended to hear what they had to say and even got to ask a question. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the Mayor of Baltimore, and Jay Davidson, president of Baltimore Racing Development were in attendance. To my surprise Terry Angstadt, the Indycar Commissioner, was in attendance as well as Scott Atherton, president of American Le Mans series.
The early numbers look good. Hotel revenue taken from 11 hotels around the track had a 44% increase in revenue from last Labor Day weekend. City parking garages showed a 119% increase in revenue. (No shit! They charged $40 for a parking spot.) The media coverage is valued at 3.5 million, which I am not sure how that is tallied. Jay Davidson said, “We spent more than 3 million dollars on local vendors.” which included D&T welding and Sparks Fencing. So obviously a lot of money was spent with Maryland businesses to put on the event.
I thought there would be more numbers on how the weekend went. More comprehensive numbers will be released by Forward Analytics on October 1st after Baltimore’s Mayoral election on September 13th. Mmm… I find that very interesting. Don’t you? Rawlings-Blake, “I don’t have any preliminary numbers. As soon as I do I will make them available.” It’s early but with computers you can’t come up with numbers faster?
After leaving and talking with several of the PR and Marketing bigwigs of the city, I realized this press conference was mainly to applaud the people who put on the Baltimore Grand Prix. Nothing is wrong with that, since it did take a leap of faith. I was expecting some better numbers though. We will wait and see.