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Thread: Baltimore terminates IndyCar race contract

  1. #181
    Crapaholic Leo's Avatar
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    Re: Baltimore terminates IndyCar race contract

    And the "hits" keep on coming...

    Baltimore Grand Prix's community relations head resigns

    Baltimore Business Journal by Jack Lambert, Researcher/Reporter
    Date: Friday, April 20, 2012, 10:40am EDT - Last Modified: Friday, April 20, 2012, 10:49am EDT



    The community relations liaison for Downforce Racing, the new group picked to manage the Baltimore Grand Prix, resigned Thursday, citing conflicts with other members of the organizing group.

    Chichi Nyagah-Nash, director of public affairs for Downforce Racing, said she submitted her resignation to the group Thursday.
    Nyagah-Nash, who was in charge of community relations for Downforce Racing, was one of the two-person staff Downforce hired after the city entered into a five-year deal Feb. 15 with the group to organize the Grand Prix race.

    Nyagah-Nash said she clashed with other members of the group. Downforce Racing is led by Indianapolis race promoter Dale Dillon and former Constellation Energy executives Felix Dawson and Dan Reck. The group now has only one person on staff, in addition to the three partners, working to produce the 2012 Baltimore Grand Prix, which is scheduled for Labor Day weekend.

    “All I would say is that I didn’t jell with the new group,” Nyagah-Nash said. “It was differing personalities. It wasn’t the right place for me. It just wasn’t working out for me.”

    Reck could not be reached for comment.

    Downforce Racing has yet to announce a ticketing vendor or hire an advertising firm to promote the race. The group has also not signed a sanctioning agreement with IndyCar or an agreement with the Maryland Stadium Authority to run this year’s race. It also has been reported in the Baltimore Sun that Dillon, the only member of the group with IndyCar experience, may soon leave the group.

    Nyagah-Nash worked as the director of special projects for Baltimore Racing Development during the 2011 Baltimore Grand Prix. She handled business outreach and community relations, as well as helping manage on-site vendors during last year’s race. At the Feb. 22 Board of Estimates Meeting, city and race officials praised Nyagah-Nash’s efforts with last year’s race and touted her relationship with the Baltimore community.

    City officials could not be reached for comment.

    Nyagah-Nash said she did not leave Downforce Racing with another job lined up. She said certain factors with other group members made the timing right to leave.

    “It’s not that I left knowing there was something else,” Nyagah-Nash said. “I just hit my threshold.”

    link
    Wow...she left her job with apparently no other job to go to. Must have been a barrel of yuks to work with DimFarce Racing, eh?

    Still no title sponsor...maybe the big reason no tickets have been printed and issued. Moneyboys would want their name on the ducats, after all. Also no ad firm to promote the event...must be relying on word-of-mouth and walk-ups. BUT NO SANCTIONING AGREEMENT WITH SPINDYCRAP YET? And nothing agreed to with the Maryland Stadium Authority thus far? Only the pit lane and over a third of the track is on their property...so what say you, oh greatly experienced IndyCrap organizer Dale Dillon?

    You have exactly nineteen weeks from this very day, morons...and the clock is ticking. You might refer the question to the hire whose specialty is dealing in community relations...but, oh..that's right!! She just told you three stooges to go pound sand.

    Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

    Hey, scorp...were you looking for more misery out of Baltimore to gladden your heart?

    Look no further. Santa Claus has arrived with more gifts for you today.
    Last edited by Leo; 04-20-2012 at 06:00 PM. Reason: bugs in the posting programming...
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  2. #182
    Crapaholic BooBoo's Avatar
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    Re: Baltimore terminates IndyCar race contract

    Very, very rarely does someone named ChiChi come off as the smart one in a group. In this case, she abandoned ship before it hit bottom. 10-1 that this fiasco doesn't happen...
    I've been trying to sell out for years, but nobody's buying.
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  3. #183
    Supreme Crapster RARules's Avatar
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    Re: Baltimore terminates IndyCar race contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reutter on 2/16/2012
    The city has praised Dale Dillon as a well-regarded and experienced operator who had led Grand Prix races in St. Petersburg and Toronto as well as the first Baltimore Grand Prix. He lives in Indianapolis where he is closely associated with IndyCar races.
    It seems that this choice was carefully-targeted. It would not surprise me at all if the H-G family (or at least the FICS) was throughly involved in steering things his way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reutter on 2/16/2012
    According to the city, the three partners have been vetted and shown to have the financial resources to organize the race.
    Well, perhaps they have the financial resources (still sounds like a H-G financed operation to me), but do they have the talent to sell a crapfest to the Baltimore area vendors and the prospective "race" attendants (victims) again?

    All I can say is that the folks benefitting the most may just be the Harvard Business Review. It may make a great case study.

  4. #184
    CrapKing
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    Re: Baltimore terminates IndyCar race contract

    Quote Originally Posted by BooBoo View Post
    Very, very rarely does someone named ChiChi come off as the smart one in a group. In this case, she abandoned ship before it hit bottom. 10-1 that this fiasco doesn't happen...

    Seen this deal before. Your asked to publicly lie to people on the bosses behalf and you just know that then the lie is exposed (they always are) that YOU will be the person blamed in the media as lying and you'll have no support - hell - they'll throw you under the bus and in fact may fire you so they look good and you'll have no proof that they ordered you to scam someone. It basically comes down to two choices; lie to the public and hope your never caught and if you are - hope you haven't sullied your reputation and next job prospects OR... walk out the door with your head held high and move on. Sounds like she did the latter. Good for her.
    Not Going Green

  5. #185
    Baron Von Crapp
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    Re: Baltimore terminates IndyCar race contract

    Which will cost the H-G family less, footing the entire bill to make this "race" happen (never mind whether their cronies can do it) or losing the Izod sponsorship? That is what they will do.
    "I will choose a path that's clear - I will choose Free Will." - Rush

  6. #186
    Crapaholic boomerblaste's Avatar
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    Re: Baltimore terminates IndyCar race contract

    In terms of money, it is a wash as izod doesn't pay much for the title of leeg title sponsor. heck, izod won't even spend a couple of bills to send their trackside girl to more than 30% of the races. the fact that the fam can claim to have a title sponsor is worth more than they get from the title sponsor.
    You've mistaken my correct interpretation of the results of Tony's boondoggle for my being a doomsayer.

  7. #187
    Crapaholic scorpion's Avatar
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    Re: Baltimore terminates IndyCar race contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post

    Hey, scorp...were you looking for more misery out of Baltimore to gladden your heart?

    Look no further. Santa Claus has arrived with more gifts for you today.
    Hey Leo, When it looked like this "race" was not going to get a second chance and I told you, "sure it would" and low and behold the rabbit appeared, I was not surprised. Now, much to my enjoyment it looks like the rabbit was a stage prop, not real bunny. This crumbling failure of a second attempt is making the.irl look even worse than if they had just buried the event after the first year. Sweet indeed.

    Next up, Milwaukee. Empty stands and .irl promoted.
    "Those stupid IRL cars, they have the nose-up thing."-Mario Andretti

    "It's the IRL, STUPID!!!

    Don't blame the economy. The iRl's been shutting down venues even in the best of times."-ClutchX

  8. #188
    Crapaholic Leo's Avatar
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    Re: Baltimore terminates IndyCar race contract

    Quote Originally Posted by RARules View Post
    It seems that this choice was carefully-targeted. It would not surprise me at all if the H-G family (or at least the FICS) was throughly involved in steering things his way.
    Sure it was. Dillon's construction company was the one that built the Dull Era chassis plant in beautiful downtown Speedway, IN by diverting federal emergency funds meant for flood relief and recovery. In other words...your tax dollars and mine.

    Dillon wants to be the impressario behind a combined air show/SpindyCrap race in Ft. Lauderdale for next year, and no doubt he sees the writing on the wall in Baltimore and wants to wash his hands of that fiasco. IMHO, Barnturd the roping dope will let Dillon slip out the back door and cancel Baltimore off the schedule, while Dillon starts with a clean slate working on yet another hIRLyturd disaster on the Sun Coast of Florida.



    Look at these three stooges. Dillon is the dork in the middle who looks like the cut-rate contractor he is trying to be the suave businessman he ain't. Hey, Dale...try wearing a jacket that doesn't look ridiculous when you button it, OK?

    And his two soon-to-be DumbFarce ex-partners have ZERO experience in promoting a race...but both of them have helped to take ongoing and functioning utility concerns and run them into the ground. Gotta count for something, you know. And take a look at those bookends. Slicker dressing than Dillon, for sure...and both look like the con artists they have already shown themselves to be.

    No wonder that PR hire ran from DumbFarce Racing without having another job to go to.
    "I'm on a track and I'm traveling so fast.
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  9. #189
    Crapaholic Leo's Avatar
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    Re: Baltimore terminates IndyCar race contract

    Quote Originally Posted by BooBoo View Post
    10-1 that this fiasco doesn't happen...
    I dunno. The editorial staff at the Baltimore Sun might even give it longer odds:

    Grand prix: Forget 2012

    Our view: Baltimore should cut its losses and accept that the race won't happen this year



    11:27 a.m. EDT, April 17, 2012


    The agreement with new managers for the Baltimore Grand Prix looked risky for city taxpayers when MayorStephanie Rawlings-Blake's administration signed it in February. With little visible progress since then on putting this year's race together, and with signs of dissent among the new race promoters, it now looks much worse. It's time for city officials to give up on the notion of holding another IndyCar race in Baltimore this year.

    Ticket sales for the 2011 Grand Prix began the previous December. Tickets are not yet on sale for the 2012 race, and no marketing for it has taken place.
    The lack of a title sponsor was a sign of the troubles that the 2011 race would eventually face its organizers racked up millions in unpaid debts to the city, state and vendors, few of which are likely to be repaid. The 2012 race organizers, despite the popularity of last year's event with drivers and fans alike, have yet to line up a title sponsor either. In its get-tough act with the new race promoters after last year's debacle, the city insisted on a series of deadlines and benchmarks, but they have not been met.

    And now comes word that Dale Dillon, the head of the group that was supposed to make the 2012 version not only well run but also financially solvent, may be on his way out. When the city signed its deal with the new promoters, Downforce Racing, Mr. Dillon's involvement was cited as a key reason we should have confidence that last year's troubles were behind us. He came with the strong recommendation of IndyCar officials, and his last-minute involvement in the 2011 race was seen as crucial to that event happening at all. But he is now evidently at odds with his two partners neither of whom has experience in putting on car races and appears to have been effectively out of the picture for some weeks now. This may be as good an indication as any that the 2012 race isn't going to work out.

    In a sense, it's tempting to give Downforce Racing more time to get its act together. IndyCar officials still seem bullish about Baltimore as a race venue; the race circuit's top executives came to Baltimore this week, and they have suggested they may step in to help put on this year's event. Moreover, the city is not going to incur any significant new costs until the immediate leadup to the race, which is scheduled for Labor Day weekend. Most of the expense for the Grand Prix was incurred before last year's event, when the city spent millions to prepare the streets around the Inner Harbor. If the Grand Prix doesn't become an annual fixture, that investment (and the city's expenses for police, fire protection and other services during the 2011 race) will be a total loss.

    But the terms of Baltimore's contract with Downforce Racing make the city more dependent than before on the success of the race.
    Baltimore's agreement with the last group of promoters provided it with a flat fee for hosting the event, plus reimbursement for the city's costs. This time, the flat fee is gone. Instead, the city gets to collect a $3 fee on every ticket sold. If attendance this year were to match attendance last year, that would amount to less than half what it actually cost the city to put on the inaugural race. The worst-case scenario for the city is for this group to hold the event but for it to be a flop. The longer Downforce Racing goes without selling tickets or marketing the race, the more likely that becomes.

    The Baltimore Grand Prix was an exciting idea. More than 100,000 people attended last year's races, which took place over three days, and many reported coming away with positive feelings about the city. That was worth something, but not enough to justify taking what looks like an increasingly risky bet on the prospect that Downforce Racing, even with IndyCar's help, can pull together an event that succeeds financially.

    Given Baltimore's up-front investment in the Grand Prix last year, it was reasonable for the Rawlings-Blake administration to see whether a new management group could salvage the event. Now it looks like we have our answer. It may be worth discussing the possibility of a race in 2013, but with Labor Day just 41/2 months away, it's time to cut our losses and give up on this year.

    link
    Won't bother with the editorial vitriol directed at Steffie Graft, the city of Baltimore and the Sun itself for dim-wittedly supporting another money-wasting hIRLathon. You've got the link...you can read them for yourselves.
    "I'm on a track and I'm traveling so fast.
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  10. #190
    El Crapador
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    Re: Baltimore terminates IndyCar race contract

    Quote Originally Posted by PoundumRay View Post
    Which will cost the H-G family less, footing the entire bill to make this "race" happen (never mind whether their cronies can do it) or losing the Izod sponsorship?
    FIRL must be failing at all TV rating minimums, per IZOD contract expectations. The writing's on the wall...

  11. #191
    Crapaholic scorpion's Avatar
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    Re: Baltimore terminates IndyCar race contract

    I'm feeling giddy.
    "Those stupid IRL cars, they have the nose-up thing."-Mario Andretti

    "It's the IRL, STUPID!!!

    Don't blame the economy. The iRl's been shutting down venues even in the best of times."-ClutchX

  12. #192
    Crapaholic CowtownBob's Avatar
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    Re: Baltimore terminates IndyCar race contract

    i just love it when a plan comes together
    It's not foilage, damnit! it's foliage.

  13. #193
    CrapKing RenegadeX's Avatar
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    Re: Baltimore terminates IndyCar race contract

    It's been reported and repeated by various reporters that IZOD's title-sponsorship contract with the IRL is contingent on their being a 16-event minimum. If that is actually the case then with New Hampshire, MoNtegi, Kentucky and Las Vegas not being on the 2012 schedule, it was "imperative" that Baltimore (and Milwaukee) be included, and that they be announced prior to a date specified in the IZOD contract. The latest possible date, I'd imagine, would have been March 23rd, the Friday at St. Petersburg. Milwaukee is an inexpensive track-rental so throw some money to someone like Andretti and make it happen even if it just covers costs (even if the sanctioning fee is waived), but Baltimore was $12-million in the hole and the City terminated their contract with last year's organizer. Without 16 races on the schedule, no IZOD. What to do???

    Answer: PUT BALTIMORE ON THE SCHEDULE AND HAVE NO EXPECTATION THAT IT WILL ACTUALLY TAKE PLACE.

    That perfectly explains why:
    • 1) there's still no Sanctioning Agreement signed between Downforce Racing and IndyCar.
      The contract between the City and Downforce Racing includes a stated 'benchmark' that final signed versions be completed by March 15th, and crucially, it also says the benchmark dates can be extended, subject to force majeure, if "good faith" has been shown.
      note: there is no mention of the American Le Mans Series in the contract with the City.
      .
    • 2) as late as mid-April, Downforce Racing had a skeleton crew of staff totalling 2
      (and as of this week after the resignation of Chichi, just 1). This despite a proclamation on their own website months ago that they'd "be fully staffed by the end of February".
      .
    • 3) a known-to-be-invalid Maryland Stadium Authority/DFR contract was delivered to the City by the benchmark deadline of March 15th
      .. invalid as it was knowingly co-signed by someone at DFR who was not a Key Participant and therefore has no business signing it. This was followed by an explanation (that only came to public light due to the prodding of a newspaper reporter and an MSA internal email slip-up) that one of the Key Participants (that's one of the 3 clowns appearing in the photo previously posted by 'Leo') who were required to sign it was "unavailable" at the time the signature was required.

      Turns out that was Dale Dillon and the story goes that he was "unavailable" due to a death in his wife's family. At the time, Dillon could simply have notified the City that he was "unavailable" to sign due to force majeure and asked for an extension (that might or might not have been granted), or he could simply have had the contract couriered to him wherever he was to sign and return, but instead I believe that he knew returning the contract on time with someone else's signature on it and a note explaining it as "Dale's unavailable" would be seen by the City as "good faith" and that desperate as they are for the event to take place, they'd extend the deadline (past the start of the IndYCar season).
      .
    • 4) DFR Key Participants were invited to Long Beach by IndyCar
      Need to discuss further delaying tactics and strategy (next 'benchmark deadline' in the City's contract is May 1st). It seems 1 of the 3 Key Participants, Dale Dillon, was absent.
      .
    • 5) Days after this Long Beach meeting, Bernard sent 2 IndyCar executives (chief operating officer & director of business affairs) to Baltimore to meet with City Hall.
      .. leaving City Councilman William H. Cole IV, a longtime booster of the race and participant of the 'negotiations' on Monday to feel "confident that Indycar will get this right and will help make sure there is a successful event on Labor Day."
      .
    • 6) "sources close to the race group have said Dillon was at odds with Reck and Dawson"
      Get past May 1st, then announce Dillon is out. The City still will likely give them time to find a replacement but on or about May 15th when they receive the April 'Performance Report' with current operating expenses & revenues and ticket sales to date and revenue-bringing contract agreements to date, the City will have little choice but to cancel the event. By this time, IndyCar will be 4 events in to their season and IZOD will already have committed money and effort into promoting the Indy 500, so chances are good they'll stick around until at least the end of May. After the rousing success of the Indy 500 with it's 10.0+ Nielsen rating on ABC (thanks to Jean Alesi and the beautiful new Dallara DW12), it would be foolish for IZOD to walk away. And besides, Randy Bernard & Dale Dillon will proudly announce the addition of Ft. Lauderdale to the 2013 calendar..
    Last edited by RenegadeX; 04-23-2012 at 01:38 AM. Reason: typo
    Peter Gethin, ex-F1 driver, in the racing documentary Jo Siffert - Live Fast, Die Young:
    "To be a racing driver, you have to have a bad memory, and be a little bit stupid"
    note: this was well before IndyCar came about - to be an IndyCar driver, you have to be a LOT stupid!

  14. #194
    CrapKing RenegadeX's Avatar
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    Re: Baltimore terminates IndyCar race contract

    From an article back in February:
    "New Grand Prix chief is racing fan and driver - Baltimore Sun" [Source]
    It was at the recommendation of IndyCar executives that Dillon came to Baltimore last year to serve as the previous race organizer's general manager in the final, frantic weeks before the Labor Day weekend festival.

    Dillon was the third general manager in six months for the group, Baltimore Racing Development. He quickly established himself as a forceful and at times pugnacious leader.

    "He's a no-nonsense guy who wants things done his way and seems to favor a structure where he pulls the strings and everyone acts accordingly," said Lonnie Fisher, who was Baltimore Racing Development's special projects manager. "He believes that he has the playbook and he expects others to run it."

    Fisher said Dillon's frank style ruffled some feathers in the group's offices in the Camden Yards warehouse.

    "He doesn't much care about emotions or feelings," Fisher said. "You can get yelled at one minute, and the next, it's forgotten, as long as you fix what's wrong."

    Dillon acknowledges that his forthright manner can rub some people the wrong way. But, he says, it also makes him an effective leader.


    "I am a pretty direct individual," said Dillon, speaking by phone from the Baltimore offices of Wilkes Lane Capital LLC, the investment firm that Dawson and Reck now run. "I never mean it personally, and generally, people realize I'm just trying to get to a goal in the end."
    "effective" isn't effective when it affects the workers to the point they don't want to work for you.

    From same article, some more background on his involvement with the IRL:
    After college, Dillon began working at Duke Construction, where he remained for 18 years until forming his own company.

    It was while working for Duke that Dillon made a key contact in the racing world who would become a close personal friend.
    Dillon supervised the construction in 1996 of the 48,000-square-foot Indianapolis headquarters of racing group Team Green. Barry Green, who managed the team, was impressed with Dillon's work.

    "Dale oversaw everything that went on with the race shop," Green said. "That's how I got to know him, got to see his ability to manage people and build things."

    Dillon went on to supervise the construction of another racing group's shop, the place teams build and repair their high-speed cars, forging a reputation in racing construction.

    "Being based in Indy, there are a lot of crossed paths between racing and ourselves," he said.

    Green was so impressed with Dillon's work that when he organized an IndyCar race in St. Petersburg in 2005, he hired him to supervise operations.

    "It was not just building the track, but huge electrical requirements, fencing requirements,"
    said Green. "He was a great savior for us."

    Green laughed about Dillon's quick temper.

    "He's laid back to a point, but… if someone promised him something and didn't produce, I don't want to be around," he said. "He can get pretty mad pretty quickly, but at the end of the day, he'll resolve the problem."

    Dillon worked for the St. Petersburg race for five years, and also worked for a year and a half on a race that Green organized in Toronto.

    After leaving those racing groups, Dillon teamed up with race driver Ryan Hunter-Reay and Staarke Taylor, an Izod executive, to propose bringing an IndyCar contest to beachfront streets in Fort Lauderdale.

    Although the details have not been finalized, the race, which would begin next year, has been backed by Fort Lauderdale officials and business owners.
    IZOD behind Dale Dillon @ Ft. Lauderdale but not Dale Dillon @ Baltimore.

    Baltimore might go but IZOD ain't going anywhere..
    Peter Gethin, ex-F1 driver, in the racing documentary Jo Siffert - Live Fast, Die Young:
    "To be a racing driver, you have to have a bad memory, and be a little bit stupid"
    note: this was well before IndyCar came about - to be an IndyCar driver, you have to be a LOT stupid!

  15. #195
    Crapaholic last2brake's Avatar
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    Re: Baltimore terminates IndyCar race contract

    That certainly makes sense.
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