Baltimore City Board of Estimates approves new Grand Prix contract

BALTIMORE - Plans for this year's Baltimore Grand Prix are moving forward after a vote this morning by the Board of Estimates.

The five-member board, made up of the Mayor, City Council President, the city Comptroller, the city Solicitor, and the Director of Public Works, is responsible for awarding contracts, in this case, for the company that will handle the Grand Prix.

The contract with last year's promoter, Baltimore Racing Development, was terminated after bills went unpaid.

The board voted 3 to 2 to approve the contract with a new promoter, Downforce Racing.

The city's comptroller, Joan M. Pratt did not vote in favor of the contract saying, "so because we do not know the city's financial commitment, I couldn't be for the deal, because I don't want the citizens to be burdened."

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake voted in favor of the contract.  She says, "I'm pleased that we were able to move forward, putting into place significant safeguards to protect the taxpayer, and I'm convinced, god willing, you know we can't control the weather, that we'll have a wonderful, wonderful event."

The new contract does have safeguards in place, to protect the city from losing money.

The 2012 Baltimore Grand Prix will be held Labor Day Weekend.

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