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Trackside Businesses Charged $5k Fee for View of Grand Prix

Updated: Thursday, August 29 2013, 04:52 PM EDT

Downtown businesses are fired up over a $5,000 demand from the Grand Prix of Baltimore.

It is the third year the downtown roadway has become a race way and this year, the owner of Luna Del Sea was hoping to turn a profit. His restaurant is one of a dozen businesses which happen to sit along the track, and for being trackside the city wants $5,000. For the places of business that don't pay the fee, a blue tarp will cover the fence along the raceway and shield their view of the race.

Grand Prix General Manager Tim Mayer said the fee is necessary.

"It's a very expensive thing to put on a Grand Prix," Mayer said. "We do want people to buy our tickets and watch the event. To open the Grand Prix so people can sit outside and watch it for free really isn't our business model."

But some businesses complain the fencing goes up more than two weeks before the actual race and so do some of the blue tarps.

Trackside Businesses Charged $5k Fee for View of Grand Prix

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