Grand Prix organizer misses several benchmarks

City, Downforce have agreed on form of monthly financial reports, city official says

March 15, 2012|By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun

Downforce Racing, the new operator of the Baltimore Grand Prix, missed three of the five benchmarks that it agreed to have complete by March 15 under its contract with the city, a spokesman for the mayor said.

The race organizer and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's administration are still working out the terms of three agreements that were scheduled to be complete by Thursday, according to Ryan O'Doherty, a spokesman for the mayor.

Technical information in the ticket escrow agreement, which will govern how the city collects its share of ticket proceeds, is being checked for accuracy, he said.

Two other agreements — one between IndyCar and Downforce and another between the Maryland Stadium Authority and Downforce — are expected to be executed by the end of next week, O'Doherty said.

Downforce's agreement with IndyCar, the race's sanctioning body, is a multi-year contract that will place the Baltimore event on the official racing calendar. The Stadium Authority agreement is necessary for Downforce to be allowed to use space within Camden Yards.

The racing group did meet its deadline to identify locations in the downtown street track that need repair. The fixes are minor problems, such as potholes, O'Doherty said.

Downforce has also provided the city its "proposed form of monthly financial reporting." Only minor revisions are necessary to the format to make it agreeable to the city, according to O'Doherty.

Downforce — Indianapolis-based contractor Dale Dillon and former Constellation Energy Group executives Felix J. Dawson and Daniel Reck — formally won the city contract in February to manage the race. Downforce did not respond to a request for comment Thursday evening.

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