IBJNews

City expects weather to boost MotoGP's economic impact

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Sunny, mild weather this weekend will likely boost the economic impact for this weekend’s MotoGP motorcycle event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Favorable weather could push the economic impact for the three-day MotoGP event up 15 percent, said Tim Frost, president of Frost Motorsports, a Chicago-based motorsports business consultancy.

“This is the type of event that not only draws an international audience, but draws a regional audience of large motorcycle groups who will ride into Indianapolis if the weather is right,” Frost said. “Although the race is run rain or shine, the weather forecast can make all the difference for an event like this from an economic impact standpoint.”

Three days of activities surrounding the race start Friday, and local tourism officials expect more than 100,000 visitors to turn up for the festivities, including the fourth running of the main event, which starts at 2 p.m. Sunday.

IMS officials said they expect attendance to be on par with, or maybe slightly above, what it was for the race last year when the weather was overcast with patchy rain for the three days.

“[On Thursday] we’re already seeing big groups on motorcycles in Speedway,” said IMS spokesman Doug Boles. “The weather is supposed to be good, and that’s significant because the walk-up ticket sales for the MotoGP race are more percentage-wise than we experience for either the Brickyard 400 or Indianapolis 500.”

The Speedway has had some difficulty with declining attendance for the event.

A total of 136,184 spectators attended the three days of action at the Speedway in 2010, with 62,794 attending the feature race, according to MotoGP officials. That fell from 75,130 in 2009, when the combined total for the weekend was 146,680. The three-day total for the first event in 2008 was about 170,000, according to MotoGP officials.

Still, the economic impact to the region is significant, said Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association spokesman Chris Gahl.

“It’s not just the quantity of the visitors, but the quality of the visitors,” Gahl said. “We know this is a very affluent, travel-prone audience. These are the types of people who could steer conventions or other corporate business here. It’s a very appealing audience from an economic and branding standpoint.”

Groups from France, Germany, Australia and Canada are descending on the city, Gahl said.

According to ICVA figures, Indianapolis’ downtown hotel occupancy rate is 80 percent on Friday and 97 percent on Saturday.

“The MotoGP race is definitely pushing those [occupancy] rates,” Gahl said.

Several vendors setting up near the track on Thursday told IBJ they each expect to sell between $150,000 and $200,000 in merchandise during the three-day event.

New attractions this year include the IMS After Dark, which will run from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and feature live bands, fireworks, food and merchandise vendors, motorcycle displays, and demonstrations and other activities.

This will also be the first year that the Speedway’s MotoGP weekend has featured a race for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. This will be the first time a Harley has raced at the IMS since 1909.

This weekend also will mark another first, as Shelina Moreda becomes the first woman to race a motorcycle at the Speedway.

Away from the track, the annual Motorcycles on Meridian event Friday and Saturday nights is expected to draw tens of thousands of bikers downtown each of those nights.

A motorcycle race scheduled for Saturday at the Indiana State Fairgrounds has been canceled because of the fatal stage collapse Aug. 13. The Indy Mile AMA Pro Racing Flat Track Grand National was to be held on the track at the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand, but debris strewn across the area from the stage collapse will prevent the race from being run.

Tourism experts think the Fairgrounds race cancellation will have a minimal impact on the number of visitors to Indianapolis and Speedway this weekend.

Though the ICVA has not yet calculated an economic impact number for the event, motorsports business experts pegged the three-day impact at $25 million to $30 million.

By comparison, the estimated economic impact of the Big Ten Football championship to be played in Lucas Oil Stadium on Dec. 3 is $17.7 million.
IMS President Jeff Belskus wouldn’t say if the event is profitable, only saying, “It’s a good event for us.”

Part of the event’s appeal for the Speedway, Belskus said, is that it draws “a very different demographic” than the Brickyard 400 or Indianapolis 500.
“It’s another way to increase exposure for our facility,” Belskus said.

The MotoGP is held at the Speedway on a one-year contract, and Boles said the two sides are currently in negotiations to hold the race in 2012.

“We’d certainly like to have this event again,” Boles said. “We hope to have an announcement in September.”

 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Good new for Indy!
    I will be heading to the race all weekend with two of my friends who are from out of state. I hope this returns again next year so we can make this an annual event!

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Hello Dear Are you tired of Seeking Loans and Mortgages,have you Been Turned down constantly By your banks and Other Financial Institutions or Micro Finance scheme. This is let you know with 100% guarantee that we Offer loans ranging from $1,000 Minimum to $1,000,000.00 Maximum at 3% interest rate per Month. We give out LOANS for developing business. a competitive edge/business expansion. email address: michealscottloan124@gmail.com We offer the following kinds of loans and many more; * Personal Loans ( Unsecured Loan) * Business Loans ( Unsecured Loan) * Consolidation Loan * Combination Loan * Home Improvement * Xmas Loans for contact to seek for loan email this email address: michealscottloan124@gmail.com Thanks

  2. My name is Mr Henry Josh and i live in the USA California and life is worth living right now for me and my family and all this is because of one man sent by GOD to help me and my family, i once had a life filled with sorrow because my first SON needed a kidney transplant and all our savings were going towards his medications and this normally leaves us with no money to pay our bills or even put enough food on our table and our rent was due and no funds to pay these bills and life felt so unfair to me and every night my wife will cry herself to sleep every night until one day, i was browsing through yahoo answers and i saw a striking advert of a man that gives out personal loans and that the offer is opened to all and i have heard so many things about internet scams but at this point of my life, i was very desperate and ready to take any risk and at the end of the day, i applied for this loan and from one step to another, i got my loan within 12 hours through bank transfer and you know, it was all like a dream and i called Mr Daniel Jones A Man who is the GOD sent lender i found and said, i have received my loan and he smiled stating that to GOD be the glory and i was so shocked as i have never ever seen anyone with such a GOD fearing and kind heart and today, i am the happiest man on earth because by GOD’S grace, my SON kidney transplant was successful and today he is healthy, i and my family are living very comfortable and happy and if you are in my former situation or in serious and legitimate need of a loan, you can reach this GOD sent lender via fidelityloanfirm@outlook.com

  3. Greetings to everyone reading this comment!!! I am Greg William by name. I am out here to recommend the effort of Mark Oscar,I was in need of a consolidation loan amount of 50,000 and as soon as I got in contact with Mark Oscar Loan Firm on Wednesday last week and on Friday last week as well I receive an alert from my bank(Royal Bank of Scotland Group) that the fund was transferred,I want everybody on this site to contact Mark Oscar now via email on how to get a loan because I got my loan from them and I am very happy,so contact them now. Oscarloanfinance@hotmail.com Thanks!!!!!!

  4. Elected officials, like Mourdock, get vested in 8 years. It takes 10 years for all other public employees, most of whom make a lot less money. So much for the promise to finish out his term.

  5. Great state treasurer and a good man!! Just curious if the folks who didn't quite understand his quote would like to tell my daughter-in-law that God didn't intend her! Mourdock's comment was correct but twisted and the article didn't mention that his opponent and the press let the impression stand that Mourdock meant that the rape was intended. Stupid people!!

ADVERTISEMENT