Daily Record Business Writer
August 17, 2009 2:34 PM
Baltimore is the Indy Racing League’s pick for its new race location in 2011 — but the question remains Two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr. speaks at Monday's news conference.
whether the city will be able to afford the expense to make the race along downtown streets a reality.
The event’s local organizers and city officials exercised cautious optimism at a Monday news conference officially introducing the Baltimore Racing Development team, which includes two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. The city council last week unanimously passed a resolution allowing the group to negotiate for and promote the event here.
“It’s not a done deal, we still want to deliver this to the city,” said BRD Chief Operating Officer Jay Davidson after the news conference at the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards. “We have to show them you can do the safety management and the traffic management in a feasible way. ... We hope they look at the cost and realize the benefits economically.”
A statement issued by Mayor Sheila Dixon was notably guarded.
“I am very interested in the prospect of Baltimore hosting an Indy Racing League event downtown,” the statement said. “As planning and negotiations continue with Baltimore Racing Development, the city must carefully consider the costs of this event ... against the compelling economic benefits.”
The race, run by the same type of cars as in the Indianapolis 500, would take place in a route along city streets between Camden Yards and the Inner Harbor. The promoters are negotiating for Labor Day weekend as the race date.