Chicagoland Speedway's Economic Impact
Friday, Sept. 9, 2005
Representatives from the State of Illinois and Joliet, Ill., were on hand to announce results from an economic impact study of Chicagoland Speedway's effect on the surrounding area.
Q: A MOTORSPORTS FACILITY HAS BEEN PROPOSED IN PUGET SOUND'S KITSAP COUNTY IN THE U.S. PACIFIC NORTHWEST. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO AREA OFFICIALS THERE?
Jan Kostner, Deputy Director of Tourism, Illinois Department of Commerce
and Economic Opportunity
A: "This complex is a model for economic development and that means jobs."
Sen. A.J. Wilhemi, Illinois
A: "These numbers, when you look at 160,000 hotel rooms, when you look at 10,000 jobs, $755 million - almost a billion dollars - in economic activity, for a speedway that's only five years old...These numbers will continue to grow; job creation will continue to grow. These numbers are staggering."
Matt Alexander, Vice President and General Manager, Chicagoland Speedway
and Route 66 Raceway
A: "One thing I found especially interesting in the study was the opportunity cost - the opportunity cost if we didn't build in Will County or in Joliet. If people have money to spend on entertainment, they keep that money here. They don't take it to a different county or to a different racetrack or to a different state or spend that money somewhere else. So two things happen here -- direct impact, but also the opportunity cost that would have been lost with that revenue to a different county or even a different state."
Rep. Jack McGuire, 86th District of Illinois
A: "If I had the opportunity to give (Washington State officials) a brief statement, 'Two words: build it. You can't go wrong.' One of the other things that was not addressed in the study was what it has done for the surrounding areas. I don't know whether the racetrack would have been built now if we were looking at land prices that they are now than when they first started. The speculation or the promises of the Route 53 Corridor going south...demand for that has been unbelievable. We are seeing farms being sold for $35 (thousand), $40 (thousand), $45,000 dollars an acre. And this is continuing all the way over to the Manhattan Township area. What is going to be developed here in the next 15, 20 years is going to be phenomenal. And those economic benefits aren't even in these economic impact findings that were put together."