Study: Indianapolis Motor Speedway events generated $1B impact over one year

Study: Indianapolis Motor Speedway events generated $1B impact over one year

Events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that took place over a one-year period generated more than $1 billion in economic impact for the state, according to a new study released Tuesday.

The study, commissioned by the IMS and executed by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, found that track-related events in May 2023 on their own resulted in $566.4 million in impact.

The report covers a one-year period from June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023, which includes this year’s Indianapolis 500, Brickyard Weekend 2022, the Intercontinental GT Indianapolis 8 Hour race and activity at the Brickyard Crossing golf course and IMS Museum, as well as numerous smaller or private events held at the track.

The total economic impact of $1.058 billion found by the months-long study is more than double the figure calculated in a similar study in 2013, which determined the Speedway generated about $510 million annually for the area at that time.

“We’re excited by the number, but also pleased by the number because we know a lot of the ancillary events that go completely unnoticed for the most part in our market … are giving back supporting jobs and driving people to local businesses,” Doug Boles, president of IMS, told IBJ.

Boles said while IMS provided some data for the study, it didn’t have a direct influence on the IU Public Policy Institute’s findings. In addition to consulting with IMS, the institute examined finances for IMS, restaurants, businesses, vendors and motorsports teams, as well as tax revenue, to inform the study.

“We wanted an economic impact study that we could feel really comfortable are real dollars that don’t exist in central Indiana or the state unless the Speedway’s here,” Boles said. “So, we feel really good about the approach. This is not about inflating Indianapolis Motor Speedway numbers, but it’s about creating something that we can all believe are accurate numbers and everybody—not just in central Indiana but the state of Indiana—can feel good about.”

The study found that of the Month of May impact, about $86 million came from visitors within 100 miles of the track. Brickyard Weekend 2022 also accounted for $117.2 million of the total, while other events accounted for $375.1 million.

IMS supported more than 8,400 jobs, according to the study, with an estimated $360 million in labor income.

Boles said while he doesn’t expect the study to be updated every year—like some economic impact studies—the figure will be revised often, to ensure the figures are up to date.

“Our business model, I don’t see changing over the course of the next few years, so this may be something that we look at every three to five years or so,” he said. “This won’t be an annual thing, I don’t think, but when you’re talking about a study that was done [a decade ago], and with where we’ve been, the new ownership and all, it just felt really important to reset.”