IRL: Indy 500 Greatest spectacle in racing news

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, April 12, 2001 - The Indianapolis 500 was the largest producer of economic gains in 2000 among all annual major sporting events in the United States, an article in the Jan. 15 Sports Business Journal indicated. The...

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, April 12, 2001 - The Indianapolis 500 was the largest producer of economic gains in 2000 among all annual major sporting events in the United States, an article in the Jan. 15 Sports Business Journal indicated.

The Journal cited a study by noted sports economist Professor Mark S. Rosentraub, Dean of the Levin College of Business, Cleveland State University, which found the Indianapolis 500 creates an economic impact of $336.6 million annually, almost $100 million more then NASCAR's Daytona 500, second on the list.

Rosentraub's economic impact study revealed that the Indianapolis 500 is responsible for almost 50 percent of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's $727 million annual impact on the central Indiana economy.

"From an economic impact standpoint, having the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400 and the Formula One races are like having multiple Super Bowls every year, an impact larger than any city in the United States enjoys from a sports venue by far," said Rosentraub. (See chart below for more details.) The Speedway's two other world-class motorsports events, the NASCAR-sanctioned Brickyard 400 and SAP United States Grand Prix Formula One race, generated economic impacts of $219.5 million and $170.8 million in 2000, respectively, placing the Brickyard third and the United States Grand Prix fifth on Sports Business Journal's national ranking. <pre> The top-five events in terms of economic impact:

Event                   Host city               Estimated economic impact
Indianapolis 500        Indianapolis            $336.6 million
Daytona 500             Daytona Beach, Fla.     $240 million
Brickyard 400           Indianapolis            $219.5 million
Super Bowl XXXIV        Atlanta                 $215 million
SAP U.S. Grand Prix     Indianapolis            $170.8 million

One reason for the Indianapolis 500's immense economic impact is its status as the world's largest attended single-day sporting event, attracting an estimated Race Day crowd of 400,000 spectators. The Brickyard and SAP United States Grand Prix are second and third in this category, respectively. Including practice and qualifying days, more than a million race fans walk through the Speedway's gates annually.

State and local governments receive significant revenues from the three races. The State of Indiana receives more than $25 million and local governments almost $10 million annually. Of those amounts, the Formula One race will be responsible for adding $6 million to state coffers and $2.6 million to units of government in Marion County, according to the study. "These gains for the local economy and for governments in Indiana from the Formula One race, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 are even more significant since none of the costs for the building of new facilities at the Speedway requires public investments," Rosentraub said. "As a result, all of the economic benefits identified in this analysis are real increments, resulting in no opportunity costs or other costs for the state of Indiana, local governments or taxpayers."

In addition, the capital construction project undertaken by IMS from 1998-2000 to both prepare for the Formula One event and to generally upgrade the track's facilities added $80.9 million to the regional economy. This was a one-time, non-recurring investment.

In the study, Rosentraub adjusted figures to remove the spending by residents of the region who would attend other recreational events in the region if the races were not held.

Rosentraub is a nationally recognized expert on the economics and politics of professional sports teams and their relationships with cities, the financing of sports facilities, the financing, organization and delivery of urban services, and economic development issues.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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Series Automotive , IndyCar