Baltimore Grand Prix cancelled for 2014-15
BALTIMORE (AP) - The Baltimore Grand Prix has been cancelled for 2014 and 2015 after organizers couldn't find a date for the race.
The IndyCar event was staged during Labor Day weekend in each of the past three years. Next year, however, the city will be hosting a football game between Ohio State and Navy. And in 2015, the American Legion will be assembling at the Baltimore Convention Center during the holiday weekend.
"After a successful visit to Baltimore, which included record attendance, we are disappointed that our schedules will not align to host an event in 2014," said Mark Miles, chief executive officer of the parent company of IndyCar.
Kevin Harris, a spokesman for the Baltimore Mayor's office, said the race will be cancelled in both 2014 and 2015.
"Right now, without a sponsor, it really would be hard to confirm a date for 2015," Harris said.
The status of the race in 2016 is uncertain, and could depend on whether organizers find a title sponsor for the event. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake spoke about the event in past tense after the announcement.
""My goal in supporting the Grand Prix was twofold: improve Baltimore's tourism over a traditionally slow Labor Day weekend and present Baltimore to a worldwide audience. By all accounts the Grand Prix of Baltimore accomplished these goals," she said in a statement. "While it is unfortunate the parties have been unable to find a workable solution to continue the Grand Prix, I would like to thank everyone for their steadfast efforts in making the race a huge success for Baltimore."
The promoters of the first Baltimore race left millions of dollars of unpaid bills to the city and local businessmen, and a second firm failed to come up with enough money to take over the race in 2012. Andretti Sports Marketing finally took charge of the event, and in short months pulled it together.
"On behalf of all of us at Andretti Sports Marketing, we want to thank the many sponsors of our racing companies who rallied behind the Grand Prix of Baltimore," said Michael Andretti, the company's CEO. "It was a great experience working with the fans in Baltimore and the community and hopefully one day we will be back."
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