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Tourism arm estimates ‘a healthy nine figures’ from 2023 Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Motor Speedway does not do a yearly economic study on the money the Indianapolis 500 brings into the area, but, at the last check, the city’s tourism arm postulates this year’s total was upwards of $300 million.

Visit Indy, in some years, has found the tally has reached as high as $330 million.

Nate Swick, the senior communications manager with Visit Indy, told News 8 on Tuesday that the money spent this year would be on par with years past. “The last one they did said we bring in $300 million from this event alone, so it’s a healthy nine figures no matter if it’s that or it would be more than that if anything.”

Many amenities around the city were at capacity because of the race. “The hotels downtown are at a virtual sellout. Hotels downtown, it’s hard to get a reservation. It might take a little longer to get an Uber,” Swick said.

Surrounding counties also could benefit from tourism dollars, Swick said. “The Indianapolis 500 obviously impacts downtown more than anything else, or the town of Speedway more than anything else. But it not only impacts downtown, Speedway, but it is hard to get a hotel room in any of our suburbs. It pushes out to our doughnut counties, and most of our doughnut counties are at a virtual sellout as well.”

Swick said Indianapolis International Airport had a record-breaking weekend for air travel this year.

“This is our biggest international event of the year as well, so we get more international visitors for this event than we do for any other event year-round,” Swick said.

Swick said the team at Visit Indy describes the Indianapolis 500 as the area’s yearly Super Bowl.

“If you’re in Indianapolis during race weekend, you can feel it. It’s a great way to kick off the summer here in Indianapolis. It’s a start to that summer tourism, summer travel.”

Swick said central Indiana will get a double tourism boost next year with the NBA All-Star Game in February and then the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May.