SBD/December 8, 2011/Events and Attractions

Baltimore Grand Prix Organizers Facing More Than $12M In Debt

Documents show more than $5M of debt, including taxes owed to city, is past due
The organizers of the Baltimore Grand Prix are "facing more than $12 million in debt and have less than $100,000 in cash on hand," according to internal documents cited by Luke Broadwater of the Baltimore SUN. The documents show that more than $5M of the debt -- including taxes "owed to Baltimore and payments to vendors -- is past due." The full extent of the company's "dire financial status is laid bare in confidential documents in which former Goldman Sachs and Constellation Energy executive Felix J. Dawson proposes assuming leadership of Baltimore Racing Development Inc." Dawson's investment firm, Wilkes Lane Capital, would "give Baltimore Racing Development $3.3 million and control 58 percent of the company under his proposal." The documents show that the company's total debt is "more than three times higher than amounts that had been gleaned from court records and other claims." Ryan O'Doherty, a spokesperson for Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, said that the group has "until the end of the month to turn over an audit of its books to the city." If the company does "not pay its taxes to the city by Dec. 31, Rawlings-Blake has threatened to sever the company's five-year contract." According to the documents, BRD "owes $3.1 million to vendors, $2.5 million to the Maryland Stadium Authority, $1.9 million to Baltimore and $1.7 million in contractual payments to different firms." The race's assets are "valued at $600,000, which includes concrete barriers and hundreds of tires needed for race day" (Baltimore SUN, 12/8).
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