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Baltimore history, in a nutshell, please.

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  • Baltimore history, in a nutshell, please.

    The C'Land thread on the threshold of New Season ran its course and is airpotted.
    Before the New Season starts: I took in a couple B'more races. Great crowd, great vibe.
    In a 150 words or less, why did it fail? (I never did grasp the reason why.)
    Thank you.

  • #2
    1 great crowd then 2 poor crowds.. Debts were not paid during the first year and city just wanted to rid itself of it after the shine wore off

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    • #3
      Railroad tracks and dukes of Hazard jumps.
      Silly Season scorecard and Where are the Indy 500 winning cars! http://inrd.gotdns.com/indystuff/

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      • #4
        This article paints a good picture of what a scheduling nightmare it was - https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/ma...913-story.html

        Unlike most modern street races, this one took place right in the heart of the city's business and tourism district. Surviving street races - St. Pete, Detroit, Toronto all take place in areas away from the city's core that are more or less self-contained, so as to not disrupt much in terms of traffic flow or other businesses.

        Also, another important factor is being able to monetize all live viewership. This was one of the reasons why the Detroit GP moved to Belle Isle back in the early 90's. When the race takes place in a separate district with distinct boundaries, you can charge everyone entering. However, when sizeable numbers of people live and work inside the course, that becomes much harder to do, companies have parties on rooftops or in offices where the race sees no money, people and business owners get pissed off, etc.

        The only things inside the course at St. Pete are a baseball stadium, a theater, and a museum. The only things inside the course at Toronto are a Hotel and some Provincial exposition halls. There are no private permanent structures inside the course in Detroit.

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        • #5
          The original promoters were quite literally two guys that largely drempt it up in their basement and had just enough connections to make it happen. Their problem was they burned through money like a Howard street crackhead making it happen and weeks before the first race, they had no money to even pay the Indycar sanctioning fee. They landed what amounted to a loan shark loan with insane repayment terms. The lender was repaid in full almost immediately after a relatively successful first race, leaving nothing for the remaining creditors and vendors. A new team came in year 2 that included Andretti. They made a good event out of it but as Chris said, attendance dropped and the race suffered a lot of negative publicity from the original promoters failure to repay creditors. After year 3, which was again a good event but diminished attendance, they were facing a schedule conflict for year 4 which was well known before the first race was held. The Navy-Ohio State game was scheduled for Ravens Stadium in 2014, and there were also several large conventions booked that left few options when scheduling around the convention center and the Orioles and Ravens schedules and poof. It was gone.

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          • #6
            I think the history of street races is successful/long-lasting ones are the exception.

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            • #7
              Despite the characterizations of the race course turning the area into a prison, I"d never felt safer walking around Baltimore and it never felt smaller than during the races. The few times I"ve walked around the area since the Freddie Gray riots I was right in the middle of at an Orioles Game on my daughters 18th birthday, I wish the walls and fences were still there.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PaddockMoose View Post
                Railroad tracks and dukes of Hazard jumps.
                Haha. Watching that from an upper floor business building hosting downlookers, those are things to be counted, as someone said on the other thread, as "atmosphere of natural terrain race course."
                And thanks to drdis and NR5 for their FYI's.

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                • #9
                  Had the vendors all been paid before the creditor that bailed out the originals, he would have been paid the principle loan AND interest and we might still be attending a race in Baltimore. as it was, the interest payment was nearly as much as all of the unpaid bills and debts alone.

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                  • #10
                    It has to be in the top five of worst street course tracks ever.
                    "He went into a tire barrier, which is certainly the nicest of all the barriers." -Bobby Unser, Denver '90

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                    • #11
                      Baltimore was a temporary street circuit. They fail far more often than they succeed.

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                      • #12
                        As with many things in life, The Simpsons pretty much nailed it...

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1s4ueAkMXY

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by happyscrappy-t View Post
                          It has to be in the top five of worst street course tracks ever.
                          Turn 1 was great but that was about it..

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                          • #14
                            I thought it had a lot of passing zones, and walking the track and watching from various spots was relatively good and painless. The first promoters were a joke, that's what it came down to, and by the time Andretti got involved it was too late. Moreover, the crowds I felt were good not poor, while the first year's crowd was highlighted by a large number of people who simply "walked in." LOL.
                            "If your car was a dog, then you had to figure it out and test your own limits. And we didn't go to a wind tunnel – we did it in the first turn at Indianapolis."

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                            • #15
                              Remember the safety truck Graham saw coming at him at the start?

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