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Speedway nonprofits see big revenue loss

Photo of a house decorated. (Provided Photo/Speedway Chamber of Commerce)

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The town of Speedway is reporting a more than $272,000 loss in revenue for local nonprofit organizations due to changes at this year’s Indianapolis 500. The town says many nonprofits in Speedway rely on parked cars to support their annual budgets.

Speedway says the loss of revenue impacts a variety of nonprofit services affecting school buses for sporting events, band equipment, and library programming, among others. Town officials say every free space, from homeowners’ yards to the local high school to private parking lots, are managed and cleaned by volunteers to raise funds for the town.

“We are frequently asked what the economic impact of no fans at IMS has been on the town of Speedway this year. The question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s so ingrained into who we are as a community. It impacts every part of our town and the people in it,” said Town Manager Carlos May. “Organizations such as the Lions Club of Speedway have relied on parking cars during the race since their inception and their budget for the year is dependent upon those funds. That opportunity will not exist this year and that impact will continue to trickle down into the community.”

According to the last U.S. Census, the town of Speedway has just over 12,000 residents. For an area of Speedway’s size, town officials say it will be hard to recoup the lost revenue without help.

“We have organizations that without a doubt know their survival is dependent upon the revenue brought in during the Indy 500, but it gets more complicated when you start to look at the smaller organizations. Groups like the Lions Club or Exchange Club subsequently provide support to many other community efforts causing a ripple effect,” said Communications Director Kelly Turner. “When you combine the reliance on racing for fundraising with the lack of tourism dollars for our local businesses, you create an environment where no one is able to support one another because we’re all relying on the 300,000 plus people who typically visit in the Month of May. Even our residents rely on the funds they earn from parking cars in their yards during the race to sustain their families throughout the year.”

The Exchange Club of Speedway says it is accepting donations as part of its COVID Community Relief Fund initiative.

Exchange Club President Joshua Clay says the club is working with the town of Speedway to gather the list of impacted organizations and their losses. They plan to distribute donations back to the groups to try to match the amounts lost.

You can find more information or donate by clicking here.