The Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s $1B Economic Impact

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s $1B Economic Impact

Did you know the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), where the famous Indianapolis 500 race takes place, is one of the largest sporting venues in the entire world? The stadium has enough total capacity for more than 350,000 people during major events, making it a huge economic engine for the state of Indiana. A recent study pegs the IMS’s total contribution to the Hoosier economy at a whopping $1.058 billion. Talk about revving our engines!

“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,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “The impact and value of IMS and its contributions to Indiana’s economy are invaluable and fuel us to further prioritize our role as a key driver of progress and impact moving forward.”


Horsepower, By the Numbers

Researchers from the Indiana University Public Policy Institute recently developed an updated analysis of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s economic impact. To establish their findings, they looked at the value of all IMS activities from June 2022 through May 2023. This included totals from the stadium’s operations expenses, events, employee wages, visitor spending habits, broadcasting rights, merchandise, and lots of other categories.

It’s important to clarify that we’re talking about much more than just the Indianapolis 500 here, although that event is a big contributor to the overall totals.

“The impact of IMS events and operations is based on all revenue associated with the Indianapolis 500, INDYCAR Grand Prix, NASCAR, and INDYCAR Gallagher Grand Prix races; Carb Day, practices, and qualifications; racing teams operations; and INDY NXT, IMS Museum, and Brickyard Crossing golf course,” the researchers explained.

When all of those factors are tallied up, they amount to a very positive impact for the Hoosier state, creating thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in revenue. Specific highlights from the analysis showed that:

  • The economic contribution derived from operations, events, employee wages, and all visitor spending (June 2022 and May 2023) was $1.058 billion.
  • The economic impact during the same period, which excludes the direct and spin-off spending associated with in-state visitors, was $972 million.
  • The direct and spin-off spending by in-state visitors was $86 million. That total was reported separately from the economic impact.
  • The IMS supports 8,440 direct and indirect jobs and $360 million in labor income.
  • Additionally, the total economic impact also includes $393 million generated by the construction of the INDYCAR Headquarters, which was a one-time expenditure.


Peak Time Periods

Throughout the time period evaluated by the researchers, there were two distinct peaks for racing activity, spending, and attendance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Those were in August and May.

In August of 2022, the stadium hosted two major NASCAR races (the Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard Presented by Advance Auto Parts and Verizon 200 at the Brickyard) and the INDYCAR Gallagher Grand Prix race.

Then later in May of 2023, the Indianapolis 500, the INDYCAR Grand Prix, the INDY NXT Grand Prix, Carb Day, practices, and qualifications, were held.

This produced some notable highlights in the economic data. Namely, that May generated close to half of the total annual impact. Specifically:

  • The economic impact for May 2023 events was $480 million and almost half of the annual impact. Combining the economic impact with in-state visitor spending, the total economic contribution of the month of May was $566 million.
  • The economic impact for races and other activities in August 2022 was $117 million.
  • The economic impact for the remaining 10 months of the year was $375 million.


Pedal to the Metal

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has its foot firmly pressed down on the gas pedal when it comes to its stance as a massive revenue generator for the state of Indiana. Its role as one of the world’s premier sporting destinations brings in millions of out-of-town dollars, supports thousands of jobs, and continually brings new business opportunities to our state. And the best part is, there’s absolutely no sign of any of this activity slowing down in the fast-paced years to come.

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