Incompatible scheduling has cost the IndyCar Series one of its most well-attended and popular street races from next season, with series officials unable to reach an agreement with the City of Baltimore for a date for the 2014 edition of the race.
It marks the end – temporarily at least – of one of the most popular new races on the championship calendar. At all three, crowds jammed into the precinct, filling grandstands and showing their love of the IndyCar Series, with different winners in Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Simon Pagenaud crowned over the three runnings.
Calendar conflict has been blamed for the outcome, with all of the first three events taking place during America’s Labor Day holiday weekend, and IndyCar unable to find a new date due to its own schedule and Baltimore’s other major sporting interests in the Oriols baseball team, the Ravens NFL team, other college football events and a number of conventions and exhibitions all taking place in venues adjacent to the circuit on nearby weekends.
Labor Day weekend is apparently also unavailable in 2015 due to an American Legion Convention due to the venue booked for that event located in the circuit’s infield, meaning that the earliest Baltimore could return to the calendar will be 2016, if again, a suitable date can be found.
Upon news of the cancellation breaking, IndyCar fans across social media called for Road America to be rushed into the calendar to fill the gap, as with the axing of Baltimore and no event at Watkins Glen in New York, there is now no longer any event on the eastern coast of the United States.
Seemingly, Baltimore had been doomed to fail from the start, after a shonky promoter of the first edition went bust soon afterward, leaving a bitter aftertaste in the mouths (and bank accounts) of many vendors and suppliers to the event, who duly performed their services for a packed crowd and didn’t get paid for it.
A saving grace from more experienced promoters appeared to save the event in 2012, and two more races were held, both with great success.
Neither promoter Michael Andretti or Baltimore city mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake refused to rule out the chance of the race returning in the future, however the latter said no conversations has taken place as yet.