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Andretti Sports Marketing Seeks To Take Over Baltimore INDYCAR/ALMS Race


Michael Andretti - Anne Proffit photo

Michael Andretti - Anne Proffit photo

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Pending a blessing from the city of Baltimore next week, Andretti Sports Marketing will be the promoter and operator of the Grand Prix of Baltimore working with Race On LLC, scheduled for Labor Day weekend, August 31 to September 2. The race features IZOD IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series races.

The proposed contract allows the group Race On LLC, a company comprised of local Baltimore-area business leaders to engage in a multi-year agreement with the city and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to hold the race, which has been under a cloud in recent days. Race On is led by J.P. Grand of Grant Capital Management and Greg O'Neill of BMW Construction Specialists, both local entrepreneurs.

The new agreement with Race On guarantees payment for cost-sharing City services, regardless of the number of tickets sold; it safeguards admissions and amusement tax revenue in an escrow lock box. The city of Baltimore has terminated its prior agreement with Downforce Racing, which failed to meet city-imposed benchmarks contained in the previous agreement in place.

"We have assembled a great, world-class team that will ensure the Grand Prix of Baltimore is a success," Grant said. "I grew up in Baltimore. This even is great for the city I love and will become a new tradition Baltimoreans can be proud of for years to come."

Andretti Sports Marketing, led by Michael Andretti intends to have full details about the event, including ticket information, an official website and other specifics next Wednesday, May 16 - after approval of final contracts by the Baltimore Board of Estimates. Andretti Sports Marketing is expected to provide a "turn-key" solution to run the Grand Prix of Baltimore," the city's release stated, "Including sponsorships, public relations, marketing, hospitality, ticket sales, track build, grandstand layout and logistics."

Andretti's company has "a history of resurrecting races in cities such as Toronto, Milwaukee and St Petersburg, FL, so we are confident we can do the same thing for the Grand Prix of Baltimore. By combining our decades of motorsports expertise with the substantial backing of local investors and community support," Andretti proposed, "we believe the Grand Prix of Baltimore can become one of the most prominent sporting events on the Eastern Seaboard."

"The Grand Prix was a great event for Baltimore," Mayor Rawlings-Blake said, "that boosted our local economy and showcased our city on the international stage. This has been a difficult process," she noted, "but Race On and Andretti Sports Marketing have what it takes to move forward and make this world-class sporting event successful for Baltimore."

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