Baltimore city's Board of Estimates last week officially confirmed that Michael Andretti and Andretti Sports Marketing along with Race On will be organizing the 2012 Baltimore Grand Prix, making many IndyCar and American Le Mans racing fans happy.
In a press event that officially made Mr. Andretti and his company the organizers of the 2012 Baltimore Grand Prix, which takes place on the streets of Baltimore, he commented that the race has the potential to be the “premier street event in the world.” Whether the Labor Day weekend race will actually live up to that expectation will require a lot of planning on Andretti's part.
According to the Baltimore Business Journal Andretti Sports Marketing is trying to pull this race together as quickly as possible with only a few months to go. Tickets are set to go on sale in a week on May 28th, 2012. They will be available on Ticketmaster and a new website the company has setup to sell tickets and provide information about the event.
They have also taken steps to setup a Facebook page and Twitter feed to keep fans informed and connected with the 2012 Baltimore Grand Prix.
The previous organizers of the Baltimore Grand Prix, Downforce Racing, did not even manage to sell tickets or find vendors to put up seating. The company that put on the race in 2011, Baltimore Racing Development, went bankrupt and was not able to pay the city and state taxes and fees. So both racing companies contracts were canceled for these reasons.
This left the door open for Andretti and Race On to step in. Race on is a local company that is partnering with Andretti Sports Marketing to run the race. The people involved with Race on are Gregory O'Neil and JP grant, who plan to operate the race for the next five years. (That is if Race On and Andretti Sports Marketing successfully puts on the 2012 Baltimore Grand Prix.)
“This is a world class city,” said Grant when talking about Baltimore. “It deserves a world class event.”
Grant firmly believes that the 160,000 people who spurred $47 million in economic spending far outweighed the city not making any money on the massive event last year. The city seems to feel the same way if they are prepared to sign a new contract and deal with the immense headaches of putting on a major street race again.
Other tasks that Andretti hopes to accomplish include finding a title sponsor for this year's race. Mr. Andretti is hopeful but not 100% certain they will able to locate and find a title sponsor this year, bu for 2013 they are very confident a title sponsorship is possible.
It seems the “Race is On” for Andretti Sports Marketing and Race On to get the race ready in time.