Baltimore Grand Prix Economic Benefit Press Conference

The Mayor, ALMS President, IndyCar Commissioner, and lots of people I don't know!

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.

 

Pictures from the Baltimore Grand Prix

 

Verizon's Indy Car, driven by Will Powers who won the BGP

Pictures from the 2011 Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix!  It was an awesome event.  It made me want to jump in a car and drive fast!  The first day was shaky and not well organized (that is really an understatement) but by Saturday and Sunday the operation was a lot smoother.  You can check out more pictures on my Flickr page.  Even more pictures to come.   I hope to see more great racing next year in Baltimore.