Baltimore Racing Development sold more than $600,000 in tickets Wednesday for the Baltimore Grand Prix, the high-speed race that is slated to run through the streets surrounding the Inner Harbor next Labor Day weekend.
Six thousand presale tickets, some priced at nearly $900 each, were sold in two hours, said Jay Davidson, the race's executive director.
Baltimore Racing Development has raised more than $1.5 million from backers, the organization said in a report filed this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The figure does not include tickets sales or sponsorships, Davidson said.
The report names some of the event's executive team and key investors, including developer Kenneth R. Banks, a former treasurer of the Maryland Democratic Party, and David Rather, the owner of Mother's Federal Hill Grille.
Walker Mygatt, managing director of Constellation Energy, and Peter Collier, the former deputy director of the Baltimore City Parking Authority, are also investors and part of the leadership team.
"These are pretty prominent people in the community, smart folks, who to some extent were looking at the return on investment, but also excited about what [the race] means for the city," said Davidson.
Organizers are still looking to land a title sponsor in the $1 million-$2 million range for the three-day event but have signed sponsorship agreements for smaller amounts, Davidson said.
"In many ways it's better to sell many medium-size sponsors to get more people invested in the event," said Davidson. "When we get the right number, we'll have a title sponsor, but it's not make-or-break for us."
Organizers are looking to sell an additional $1 million or more in equity in the race, Davidson said.
Tickets are expected to be available for general sales in early January, he said.
Organizers say the race will draw 100,000 visitors to the city and generate as much as $70 million in economic impact.
City officials pledged nearly $8 million for the event. Road work, which will cost the city about $4.2 million, is well under way and will continue through the spring.
Construction began last month on a $2 million project to convert a parking lot along the Camden Yards warehouse into a pit lane for the race.