Sports cars and Indy cars will not be returning to Charm City next year, as event promoter Race On LLC announced Friday the cancelation of the Grand Prix of Baltimore.
According to Race On, a date for the popular street race, which drew more than 150,000 spectators this year, could not be found.
The race was held on Labor Day weekend for the last three years, but a college football game at the adjacent M&T Bank Stadium, scheduled for that weekend in 2014, forced organizers to explore other dates.
Ultimately, a date could not be found to accommodate both the IndyCar Series and local authorities. Race On confirmed the event would not return until 2016 at the earliest.
“Race On will not be able to participate in hosting the race going forward,” J.P. Grant, a partner in Race On LLC, told the Baltimore Business Journal. “Everyone involved in this matter has worked diligently and of good faith to make it happen. We explored every possible option.”
The event had come under fire this year for the use of a controversial front-stretch chicane. It contributed to a massive accident at the start of the American Le Mans Series event, which resulted in a shortened race and reportedly more than $1.5 million in accident damage.
While IndyCar had intentions of returning to Baltimore, it’s unclear if the newly named Tudor United SportsCar Championship would have also been on the bill, although it’s understood preliminary negotiations had at least taken place.
“On behalf of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrόn, we want to acknowledge all of the efforts made by Mayor Rawlings-Blake, J.P. Grant, Andretti Sports Marketing and the entire Race On organization regarding the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT,” said ALMS President and CEO Scott Atherton in a statement. “We especially want to thank the thousands of Baltimore fans that turned out to see the ALMS races over the last three years.”