This past weekend marked the first annual Grand Prix held in Baltimore City. For the past two months road crews and city workers worked day and night to turn the streets of Baltimore, Maryland into a 2.04 mile race course around the heart of the harbor.
During the two months of construction there were mixed feelings of excitement and irritation from city residents and commuters. Although the race had the potential of drawing in millions of dollars for the city, the locals dealt with stress and frustration with the hassle of the city traffic and race construction
In the end, the race that drew in over 150,000 tourists to Baltimore was an all-around success. Although the course was challenging for the Indy car drivers, the excitement and anticipation was noticed in the crowd and the media.
This year’s Grand Prix event was the highest rated Indy car event according to Versus Network that aired the Baltimore race, stating it topped previous broadcasts of Indy car events by 59 percent. The race drew in a number of sponsors including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Dr, Pepper, Royal Farms, Budweiser, Dietz & Watson, and local sponsors like M&T Bank, UTZ, and Johns Hopkins.
ESPN explained that the primary American street race was the most successful event in the States in the past 30 years. “The Baltimore Grand Prix already has jumped to No. 2 on IndyCar’s road racing hit parade, right behind the venerable 37-year-old Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and ahead of Mid-Ohio, Toronto and St. Petersburg.” (John Oreovicz ESPN.com)
With a 5 year contract for the race, the Baltimore Grand Prix will hopefully be a continued success in the upcoming years. Baltimore may have found the exciting and energetic event it needed to build back the city’s reputation of a fun family friendly harbor with restaurants and nightlife that appeal to all visitors and fans.