The Indy Racing League is coming to Baltimore, and not just for the crab cakes and football. The Maryland city announced that it will be an official stop on the IRL schedule next year with a 2.4-mile loop that will snake through the heart of downtown and the inner harbor. The announcement means that around $7.8 million in state and federal funds will be used to repave the majority of the streets on the course. One road will also need to be widened in order to meet IRL regulations.

The race is slated for August 2011, and while the city says that the road work will take more than a year to complete, actual preparation for the race will take closer to four weeks. That includes the construction of 50,000 temporary grand-stand seats, though officials claim that the work will be minimally intrusive for both residents and workers in the area.

Baltimore has signed a five-year contract with the IRL, and as a result, officials forecast that it will see around $11 million in tax revenue from the partnership. Likewise, around $250 million is expected to flow into the local economy due to the races.

[Source: Baltimore Business Journal]