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M&T Bank sponsoring Baltimore Grand Prix

Nine more companies have come on board to sponsor the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix.

M&T Bank’s partnership was announced Thursday as the first bank to sponsor the three-day racing festival, which will run Sept. 2-4.

Sponsorships from Dr Pepper, Royal Farms, Budweiser Beer from Anheuser-Busch, Merritt Properties LLC, my24 WUTB, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Constellation Brands Inc. and Mr. Tire are scheduled to be announced Friday. This brings the race’s total sponsorships to more than 20.

Financial details of the deals were not disclosed.

“This gives a context of the overall momentum we have,” said Jay Davidson, CEO of Baltimore Racing Development LLC, the race’s organizer. “Obviously we’re very happy to have a strong local presence like M&T work with us. They’re all good deals for us.”

M&T’s partnership will include signs on the 2-mile downtown race course, branding on print and electronic material and M&T green flags distributed to fans near the start/finish line on Pratt Street.

Budweiser will be the official malt beverage of the race; Royal Farms will provide the official coffee of the race to all suites and concession areas; Dr Pepper will be the official soft drink of the event and will be providing fans with the opportunity to ride go-karts in an interactive zone at Camden Yards parking lot A during the weekend.

Constellation Brands will provide the official wines of the race and will be served in all the suites, while Mr. Tire will be the official tire distributor. Ruth’s Chris will be branding the Ruth’s Chris Harbor Club, which will give patrons catered steaks and other menu specialties at the club. Each VIP patron will have access to a special cigar bar area, three-day grandstand seat and complimentary paddock passes.

The race is scheduled in Baltimore for the next five years.

“I think we were always excited about the idea,” said Atwood “Woody” Collins III, president of M&T Bank’s mid-Atlantic division. “If you think about it, it’s going to provide huge visibility to Baltimore. We have a couple very visible things to include the football stadium. This is just another opportunity to do that, for both M&T as well as the city. It’s a huge multiplier effect.”

M&T will also donate 50 tickets to the Friday kick-off of the race to local nonprofits, including Boys Hope Girls Hope and Paul’s Place Inc. outreach center, both located in Baltimore.

Davidson said first steps of the race tracks’ construction are well underway, and so far he hasn’t heard many complaints or word of interrupted traffic.

The race track walls are being built on Light Street between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m., Davidson said. Construction crews are also working on the grandstands, hospitality tents and pedestrian bridges.

Two local companies, Paul J. Rock and Conder and Associates, are doing the majority of the work on this construction phase, Davidson said.