Alex Palou leads the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500. (Penske Entertainment/Aaron Skillman)

IMS Generates Over $1 Billion To Indiana Economy

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — A new study by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute provided a comprehensive and detailed look at the $1 billion in annual economic activity generated by events and operations at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The results were revealed on Tuesday, October 24.

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 Racing Capital of the World is a marquee hub for economic development that directly benefits Central Indiana and the Hoosier State, triggering innovative activity and providing jobs and income for thousands of families,” said IMS President J. Douglas Boles. “The impact and value of IMS and its contributions to Indiana’s economy is invaluable and fuels us to further prioritize our role as a key driver of progress and impact moving forward.”

The Indianapolis 500, which this past pay drew a crowd announced at 330,000 spectators by Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Roger Penske on Race Day, and close to 500,000 spectators for all “Month of May” activities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, exceeds the economic impact of many of the top sporting events in the United States.

It should be noted, however, that the total economic impact of $566.4 million is for a 21-day period in May, while the other sporting events are measured for one week or one weekend.

But the comparisons are still quite impressive.

According to information from the economic impact study, the Central Indiana local economy enjoyed $156.6 million in economic impact for the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Weekend. In 2012, Indianapolis was the host of the Super Bowl, which generated $278 million.

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Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden celebrates on the frontstretch of the famed 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (IndyCar photo)

It projects an estimated $250 million of economic impact will be generated for the 2024 NBA All-Star Game, hosted by the Indiana Pacers.

On a national scale, the 2022 PGA Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma generated $157 million, the 49th AAU Junior National Volleyball Championship in Central Florida generated $228 million to that area’s economy, $300 million was generated for the Tournament of Roses including the annual Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, California.

The 2022 Formula One Miami Grand Prix accounted for $349 million in economic impact to South Florida. In tennis, the U.S. Open in New York city generated $420 million.

At the top of the list was the 2023 Super Bowl in Phoenix, which enjoyed an economic impact of $600 million this past February.

The 2023 study addressed the direct and indirect economic contributions made by IMS between June 1, 2022 and May 31, 2023. Included in the analysis were IMS operations; spending by visitors to IMS for events like the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, Brickyard Weekend and other events and activities like the SVRA Invitational and Intercontinental GT Indianapolis 8Hour, the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course and IMS Museum; and the continued presence and recent growth of IndyCar race teams and the Dallara facility in the Indianapolis area, which call Indiana home due to the presence of IMS and Penske Entertainment’s headquarters.

Among the statistics from the extensive study, a total of $1.058 billion to the Indiana economy. The NASCAR Brickyard Weekend in 2022 accounted for $117.2 million and as previously mentioned, the Indianapolis 500 and the Month of May in 2023 accounted for $566.4 million.

Visitors within 100 miles of the Indianapolis Motor and Speedway accounted for $86 million and other events and activities accounted for $375.1 million.

Events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway generated 8,440 direct and indirect full-time equivalent jobs, totaling an estimated $360 million in labor income.

The impact of IMS supports local businesses through out-of-town visitor spending at area establishments, including lodging and food. In addition, the resulting tax revenue from employee wages benefits Indiana localities and the state.

Michael McDowell burns it down on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway frontstretch. (Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

The last economic impact study was conducted in 2013 and determined that IMS generated more than $510 million annually to the Indiana economy at that time. 

Over the last decade, the growth has been influenced by additional motorsports events and activities, as well as increased attendance at marquee events. The growth of race teams and motorsports-related businesses in the area also contribute to the increased impact.

“This study demonstrates the incredible reach of IMS races and entertainment that goes well beyond the Central Indiana region,” said PPI Director Tom Guevara. “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.”

The IU Public Policy Institute is a collaborative research arm within the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.

The study captures the economic and fiscal contributions to the Indiana economy for the period of time between June 1, 2022 and May 31, 2023 related to Indianapolis Motor Speedway expenditures and spin-off spending that would not occur but for the presence of IMS in Indiana. Included in the analysis are the 2022 Brickyard Weekend, 2023 Month of May (including the 2023 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge) and other ancillary events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

Visitors to IMS for other events and activities like the SVRA Invitational and Intercontinental GT Indianapolis 8-Hour, the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course and IMS Museum contributed an additional $375.1 million to the economy. 

Through direct employment of IMS employees and indirect or partial employment of event staff and local business staff, IMS sustained 8,440 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, whose total labor income was $360 million. 

Brickyard Weekend 2022 sustains 1,275 FTE employees, whose total labor income was $46.4 million. 

Month of May 2023 sustains 3,783 FTE employees, whose total labor income was $155.2 million. 

Visitors to IMS for other events and activities like the SVRA Invitational and Intercontinental GT Indianapolis 8-Hour, the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course and IMS Museum sustains an additional 3,382 FTE employees, whose total labor income was $158.4 million.