City inks long-term deal with motorsports show

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Officials of the International Motorsports Industry Show and the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association announced an agreement Wednesday to keep the show in the city indefinitely.

The deal, which was initially signed for the years 2009 and 2010, was extended through 2015 in December. The latest agreement says the event will remain in Indianapolis for the life of the convention.

ICVA estimates the event generates more than $15.9 million in direct visitor spending for the city. Attendance for the inaugural show, held in December, topped 10,000. It also drew 345 exhibitors.

This year’s convention, set for Dec. 1-3, is expected to draw more than 20,000 visitors as well as 575 exhibitors.

“It is only fitting for the ‘Racing Capital of the World’ to permanently host the premier racing industry tradeshow, a show that brings together the entire global motorsports business,” ICVA President and CEO Don Welsh said in a prepared statement.

Indianapolis-based IMIS is owned by Tom Weisenbach, executive director of the Indiana Motorsports Association; Chris Paulsen, owner of C&R Racing Inc.; Jeff Stoops, president of Stoops Freightliner; and NASCAR driver and Indiana resident Tony Stewart.

“After shattering our projections for our inaugural show in 2009 and overwhelming positive feedback from attendees, we are confident in this deliberate decision to keep our show in Indianapolis,” Weisenbach said in a statement.

Indianapolis previously hosted a similar motorsports trade show, Performance Racing Industry Show, operated by a California-based group. Now held in Orlando, it was here until it outgrew the Indiana Convention Center in 2004.

A $275 million convention center expansion that will add 254,000 square feet of exhibit space is set to be finished in January.


  • Surpass
    I think it is amazing how fast the crew from IMIS was able to surpass the PRI show. In a short two years it has grown to almost overtake PRI and this year in sure itâ??s crowd will eclipse the Orlando PRI crowd. My company did GREAT Business there last year and we canâ??t wait till this year. Orlando is just another spinning wheel and hotrod show. IMIS is the true Motorsports Industry Show
  • Heading for bigger problems
    The ICVA should have waited until after the 2010 Show to cut any deal. The truth is the IMIS attendance list from last year had only 6,000 names on it...not 10,000. 70% were within a 4-hour drive of Indianapolis. People with international addresses were less than half a percent. Local racers and their friends drove in, walked the show in two to four hours, then drove home and didn't return for the second day. One day of attendance. And the IMIS expanded what is at best a one-day show to three days this year? They added another dead day? And they announced their raising rates next year? The IMIS is simply one of four racer consumer shows in Indianapolis in the off-season for local racers and their pals.
  • WTF?
    It says "NASCAR driver & Indiana resident Tony Stewart"... Ha! Tony lives in Mooresville, NC.
  • ?
    They must have made a typo: Indy IS racing? NO! Indy WAS racing. Sad but true.
  • Competitor to PRI?
    There is no competitor, I agree with James. PRI is the place to be if you want to do business.
  • Consumer Show
    No competitor. PRI is trade only. The Indy show is a consumer show that allows kids to attend.
  • Competitor to the PRI?
    Will the PRI ever come back? Is this show a supplement to the PRI or is it more of a direct competitor?

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.