SBD/October 19, 2011/Events and Attractions

Survey Claims Baltimore Grand Prix Fell Short Of Spending Projections

City officials say their report will be more comprehensive than the professors' survey
Attendees of the Sept. 4 Izod IndyCar Series Baltimore Grand Prix "spent as much as $25 million -- far short of the $70 million projected by race organizers," according to an economic impact survey cited by Lorraine Mirabella of the Baltimore SUN. In their report, two Maryland professors also found that "about three-quarters of attendees came from Maryland and estimated that $10 million of the spending on restaurants and other entertainment over that Labor Day weekend would have happened even without the races as a draw." Univ. of Maryland-Baltimore County economics professor Dennis Coates said, "Based on our survey information, the Baltimore Grand Prix was certainly not a game-changer." City officials, who are "expected to release their own economic impact study in the coming weeks, took issue with the professors' analysis." They said that the city's final analysis would be "more comprehensive than the survey, which relied on responses from a sampling of race patrons." The city's tourism bureau, Visit Baltimore, and research firm Forward Analytics "expect to release a comprehensive economic impact analysis by late October or early November." That analysis is "expected to include hotel and restaurant revenue, local contracting numbers, ticket sales, marketing and media impressions for Baltimore, broadcast coverage and parking revenue." IndyCar officials recently confirmed that the race "will return next Labor Day weekend" (Baltimore SUN, 10/19).
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