According to this great New York Times piece, Baltimore had a very successful launch of it street race for Indy cars last weekend. Getting a race downtown in a major city is a huge deal for open-wheel car racing; it exposes the sport to lots of people who would otherwise never attend a race.
Obviously, it's a hell of lot easier to put on a(n acceptably safe) car race on streets lined with barriers than it is to put on a(n acceptably safe) motorcycle race in an urban setting. This was no Macau Grand Prix. But as there gets to be more and more Airfence available, it's fun to fantasize about an urban motorcycle race that would thrust our sport in front of a whole new group of potential fans.
That was part of the promise of Supermoto. Its most successful events were the ones staged in Reno, and around the Queen Mary dock in Long Beach. But the whole sport basically imploded before those events could really build a franchise. And a few Backmarker readers will remember the ill-fated attempt to hold a Cape Breton (Nova Scotia, Canada) TT. The organizers couldn't pull that off, even though it was to be held in a remote, impoverished area where locals would have supported anything that brought in revenue.
Is there a Backmarker reader out there old enough to have seen the races in Montjuic Park, in Barcelona? That's the sort of thing I'm fantasizing about. The best place to pull that off in North America would be in Montreal, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which is certified by the FIA for F1 car racing. What American cities have a downtown park that could hold a world-class race?