The Friday to Monday night Orioles themed weekend should generate more money for the economy than the Grand Prix

The Sun says the city does not have the hard economic numbers/estimates for this long baseball themed weekend, but even if they did I doubt they would share them alongside the Grand Prix numbers. Around 100,000 people will walk through the turnstiles at Oriole Park this long weekend. Bars were PACKED on Friday night and they should be crowded again on Sunday and Monday nights. Everywhere I go people are in great moods, and when people are happy and drunk they tend to spend money.

The Orioles winning ways have generated a positive economic impact for Baltimore. I am not a Grand Prix hater, but I think it says a lot about projects like the Grand Prix when an already established entity easily outperforms it economically. The city already has some potential goldmines. Instead of trying to come up with new events with large start-up costs we should make the most of some of the hidden gems we already have (for example: the city has yet to harness the full economic potential of the Preakness).


About Adam Meister

Baltimore politics. The views of Adam Meister.
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1 Response to The Friday to Monday night Orioles themed weekend should generate more money for the economy than the Grand Prix

  1. funkateer says:

    Adam- of course the Orioles in the playoffs is going to be a bigger economic event in Baltimore than a racing event only in its 2nd year here! You wrote: “it says a lot about projects like the Grand Prix when an already established entity easily outperforms it economically,” but your use of the words “already established” highlights the essential unfairness of the comparison; you’re comparing an already/longtime-established-in-Baltimore event (major league baseball) to something that hasn’t yet had a chance to fully develop yet (Grand Prix). Racing, while it may have its fans living in the metro area, does not have the history here MLB does. Therefore, using playoffs baseball against the Grand Prix is no more fair to racing than using the Ravens against the Orioles would be to the Orioles (as big as this weekend is, the Ravens fill a 71k capacity stadium regularly, every single weekend they play there, and have ever since they arrived in Baltimore in 1996….a much bigger drawn any given O’s game) . In other words, it doesn’t have to be, a zero sum game….does it? Can’t Baltimore think big enough to try both? I couldn’t care less about racing personally, but when I first heard on 105.7 a few years ago a guy involved with professional racing talking about an effort to bring an international, European-type racing event to the streets of downtown Baltimore, I immediately thought, and still do, how cool that could be for the city’s image. Ed Norris and his sidekicks gushed about how awesome the event was when they visited it in St. Petersberg, Florida, and how they really hoped it would actually get here. It has the potential to attract larger crowds than it has in its first couple years, but these things get to their full potential overnight…but then, neither did the Orioles.

    The other thought I had was that now that the Orioles hopefully are on a long-term upswing again, NOW the city, the ownership/management and other entities can more fully harness its full economic potential, but there really wasn’t much to harness during the past dozen-plus years. For the past 15 years the team has seemed to be in a freefall, with an uncaring owner and a steadily dwindling attendance rate. Heck, if the business itself (Orioles management) couldn’t get people excited and buzzing about a perpetually losing baseball team, how is the city supposed to? And should that even be the city’s job, given the circumstances? I’m usually the last person to defend city govt, but I’m not sure this is a valid criticism.

    I fully agree though that the city should work to make the most of the gems, hidden and otherwise, that already exist here, and the Preakness might be a good example of that. But not the O’s. At least, not until just recently!

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