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Volume 24 No. 180

Events and Attractions

The Jan. 29 Pro Bowl in Honolulu is "the final one of the most recent two-year extension and talks have yet to produce an announcement about the future of the game beyond that," according to Ferd Lewis of the Honolulu STAR ADVERTISER. The Pro Bowl has been held in Hawaii "every year since 1980, with the exception of 2010." Speculation has been that the NFL "may choose to play the 2013 game in New Orleans in tandem with the Super Bowl, as it did in 2010, when both games were held in Miami Gardens, Fla., before possibly returning to Aloha Stadium in 2014." NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy said, "We continue to have discussions with members of the (Hawaii Tourism Authority). We talked earlier this month and will talk again prior to the Pro Bowl. We do not have further comment on those discussions." The HTA is "believed to be seeking a multiyear extension." Lewis notes despite the long history in the state, the NFL “notified the HTA in recent years of its intention to consider other ways to showcase the game, including rotating it among franchise cities” (Honolulu STAR ADVERTISER, 12/29).

Leaders of the "beleaguered company that organized the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix have yet to finalize plans for restructuring the business or paying debts to the city,” according to Julie Scharper of the Baltimore SUN. City officials told Baltimore Racing Development that they expect to “draft a plan by Dec. 31 to pay nearly $1.5 million to the city.” But yesterday a deal “to cede control of the company to a wealthy investor appeared stalled.” Sources said that while shareholders have “approved a deal to give control of the company to former Goldman Sachs and Constellation Energy executive Felix J. Dawson, only two of the racing group's five managers have approved the move.” A third manager's approval “is needed for the deal to go through.” Sean Conley, an investor in the race, said that more than two-thirds of the shareholders “had approved a deal in which Dawson's company, Wilkes Lane Capital, would pump $3.3 million into the racing group in exchange for a 58 percent share of the company.” But Conley and sources said that the managers “have yet to agree to the terms of Dawson's contract.” The city has “a five-year deal with Baltimore Racing Development to run" the Izod IndyCar Series race. Race organizers owe “more than $12 million to vendors, the city and state.” About $5M “is past due, and the company has about $600,000 in assets.” While the racing festival “was hailed as a success by city officials and IndyCar executives, Baltimore Racing Development has struggled financially.” Sources said that nearly all of its employees “have been laid off or have left the racing group, and its former headquarters at Camden Yards is largely empty.” Speed's Robin Miller said that race organizers “have, at most, until March to begin to line up sponsors and sell tickets for a September festival.” Miller: “I think six months out is probably cutting it close” (Baltimore SUN, 12/29).