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Study: ‘Racing Capital of the World’ contributes $1B in annual impact to Indiana

Study: ‘Racing Capital of the World’ contributes $1B in annual impact to Indiana; from News 8 at 10 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Motor Speedway generated $1 billion in annual economic impact on the Hoosier state, according to an economic study.

A new study with the Indiana University Public Policy Institute gives a detailed look at the $1 billion economic impact generated by events and operations at Indianapolis Motor Speedway through mid-2022 and 2023.

According to a news release, of this total, more than half — $566.4 million — is attributed to the month of May and the world-famous Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

The 2023 study addressed the direct and indirect economic contributions made by IMS between June 1, 2022, and May 31.

Notable statistics from the extensive study

  • A contribution of $1.058 billion to the Indiana economy
  • Brickyard weekend 2022 accounted for $117.2 million
  • Month of May 2023 accounted for $566.4 million
  • Visitors within 100 miles of the Speedway accounted for $86 million
  • Other events and activities accounted for $375.1 million
  • Generation of 8,440 direct and indirect full-time equivalent jobs, totaling an estimated $360 million in labor income

The last economic study was conducted in 2013 and determined that IMS generated more than $510 million annually for the Indiana economy, according to the release.

“This study demonstrates the incredible reach of IMS races and entertainment that goes well beyond the Central Indiana region,” said Tom Guevara, Indiana Public Policy Institute director, in the release. “We are proud to once again partner with IMS to analyze the economic impact of their iconic events and facilities, which are the result of many more events, more race teams, and more attendance, especially at the world-famous Indianapolis 500.”

Rebecca Nannery, a senior policy analyst at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, helped write the study. She said the last study was released 10 years ago and since then the economic impact skyrocketed to over $1 billion.

Nannery said, “The Motor Speedway after being acquired by Penske has undergone a lot of change in recent years since the last study was completed 10 years ago. The result of that is the economic impact has nearly doubled over time.”

Nannery noted that the month of May and the Indianapolis 500 are big economic engines. “All those events in one month draw a lot of visitors from out of state. In fact, half of that impact is generated from out-of-state visitors.”

Doug Boles the president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said the facility is about more than just making money. “So as we look at events that we have here at the speedway, we don’t look at them just as what’s it do for the bottom line of the speedway, but we’re looking at these events in how can that support the economic engine that is new jobs and is the investment in our community.”

This state would likely not be the same without the economic contributions from events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Nannery said, “I think this shows us that IMS plays a huge role in the local economy in Indianapolis. The way that we define the $1 billion in economic contribution that is accruing to the whole state of Indiana.”