According to today’s Baltimore Sun, a spokesperson the mayor’s office has stated that Baltimore will not commission an economic impact study of this year’s Grand Prix. The official, Ryan O’Doherty, noted that a 2011 study of the race “confirmed what we know is an undisputed fact and that is the event has a significant positive economic impact,” but not everyone is convinced, including UMBC economics professor Dennis Coates.
Coates conducted an economic impact study on the 2011 Grand Prix, based on surveys of race-goers, that showed less positive figures than reported by the mayor’s office. Responding to O’Doherty’s statement Coates remarked, “They can rewrite history and they can claim pretty much anything because no one else will see the hard numbers.” He continued that from their perspective, “It’s better to not do an economic impact study than have unflattering numbers.”
It is not yet clear if or when the city will disclose how many people attended the 2012 Baltimore Grand Prix. O’Doherty said the city would release the amount of tax proceeds, but that information might not be available until the end of October.