I ask the question because it seems Baltimore is between a lot of markets regarding motorsport, yet not a major participant in any of them at all. Not exactly the hotbed of road car racing, nor is the city a part of the stock car belt.
Locally, the media has little if any apparent understanding of either IndyCar or prototype racing and is not a pure Nascar market, not to even mention my favorite, F1.
Here, motorsport is barely covered (or even presumably understood) and true race fans don’t count on local media coverage, unless their in lock-up or something and can’t access outside sources. The sports talk shows focus all their time on football and baseball even to the most minute detail. How does one have a three-hour talk show and not cover the world of sport frankly?
I heard a radio host who didn’t know what multi-class (Le Mans style) racing even was and when I heard that I knew that the target is not necessarily the residents. There doesn’t seem to even be a culture of understanding racing.
That said, I think the Baltimore Grand Prix will fare well, though, because of Baltimore’s tourism metrics, but not Baltimoreans per se.
To have a decent race weekend for families, it’s good to have a tourism-friendly venue for the not-so-excited amongst the group. A place like Baltimore which regionally draws “drive-to” tourism is great for family groups and the city can meet such a need there, on top of the fact that the venue fills a gap for the IndyCar/Rolex Sports Car fan for whom the next closest venue is Mid-Ohio.
I went to Montreal for an F1 race and it’s a great venue by itself but with an F1 race, it’s amazing.
With a grand prix, even though it’s IndyCar, the city is poised to have the best of both worlds: closed and open wheel racing without the expense of F1. And to tell the truth, we couldn’t stand to have an F1 race.
Following the news in Austin who is not just resurfacing a street but building a sport specific track for F1 on top of fronting a 25 million dollar guarantee, makes the presumption of F1 impossible here and I’m surprised about there!
So, while Baltimore may know little about the intricacies of the sport, it may well turn out to be a good move. (And thank goodness it’s not an oval).