IBJNews

Nation’s largest motorsports trade show returning to city

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The nation’s biggest motorsports trade show, the Performance Racing Industry Show, is returning to Indianapolis next year, bringing about 40,000 guests and millions of dollars of visitor spending with it.

PRI had a seven-year run in Indianapolis through 2004, but outgrew the city’s convention facilities and left for Orlando.

Now, it’s returning in 2013 after its owner, the Diamond Bar, Calif.-based Specialty Equipment Market Association, acquired the upstart International Motorsports Industry Show on Monday.

The acquisition of Indianapolis-based IMIS is set to close in December, SEMA said in a press release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but IMIS will be folded into PRI.

SEMA said its acquisition of IMIS unifies the racing industry’s two trade shows into one, creating the opportunity for exhibitors and buyers to do business in a single location.

For Indianapolis, the announcement translates into a five-year economic impact of roughly $40 million per year (double the impact of the IMIS show), or $200 million through 2017, when IMIS' contract with the city is set to expire.

An expanded Indiana Convention Center made the show's return possible, convention officials said.

“It’s a huge win for the city and a perfect example of, if you build it, they will return,” said Chris Gahl, spokesman for Visit Indy, the organization formerly known as the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association..

The convention center underwent a $275 million expansion completed in 2011 that increased exhibit space to about 566,000 square feet. That number does not include Lucas Oil Stadium, which is used by some of the largest conventions.

At its 2011 show, PRI occupied about 750,000 square feet of space in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

PRI is not slated to use Lucas Oil Stadium next year, but could in 2014 after determining demand, organizers say. The preference is to remain in one building, using space in corridors and other areas if necessary.

“We looked at Lucas Oil Stadium and looked across the street at the Indiana Convention Center,” PRI President John Kilroy said. “And I asked our exhibitors, ‘Do any of you want to exhibit in the football stadium?’ and none of them wanted to exhibit in the stadium.”

The need to unify the racing industry trade shows, making it more affordable for exhibitors that might participate in both shows, seems to have trumped any exhibitor concerns about the smaller space in Indianapolis.

“The racing industry needed to have just one motorsports trade show in the U.S.,” said Scooter Brothers, chairman of SEMA’s board of directors, in a written statement. “I’m proud to say we’ve accomplished that.”

IMIS was formed in 2009 to fill the void left by PRI and stage a similar event in the Racing Capital of the World. Led by a group that includes NASCAR driver and Columbus resident Tony Stewart, IMIS this year will be held at the Indiana Convention Center from Dec. 6-8.

The event is expected to draw 25,000 visitors, up from about 10,000 three years ago. While IMIS has grown in stature since PRI’s departure, it’s no match for PRI, which draws about 40,000 spectators annually.

Having the two combined entities hold one event in Indianapolis is huge for the city, said Barney Levengood, executive director of the Capital Improvement Board of Marion County, which operates the convention center and Lucas Oil Stadium.

“Bringing PRI back here is so big,” he said. “That’s just huge.”

This year’s PRI trade show will run Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 in Orlando before it returns to Indianapolis next year for a three-day run, Dec. 12-14.

Besides NASCAR driver Stewart, IMIS owners are Chris Paulsen, president of locally based C&R Racing, and Jeff Stoops, president of Stoops Freightliner.
 
 

ADVERTISEMENT

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. It is nice and all that the developer grew up here and lives here, but do you think a company that builds and rehabs cottage-style homes has the chops to develop $150 Million of office, retail, and residential? I'm guessing they will quickly be over their skis and begging the city for even more help... This project should occur organically and be developed by those that can handle the size and scope of something like this as several other posters have mentioned.

  2. It amazes me how people with apparently zero knowledge of free markets or capitalism feel the need to read and post on a business journal website. Perhaps the Daily Worker would suit your interests better. It's definitely more sympathetic to your pro government theft views. It's too bad the Star is so awful as I'm sure you would find a much better home there.

  3. In other cities, expensive new construction projects are announced by real estate developers. In Carmel, they are announced by the local mayor. I am so, so glad I don't live in Carmel's taxbase--did you see that Carmel, a small Midwest suburb, has $500 million in debt?? That's unreal! The mayor thinks he's playing with Lego sets and Monopoly money here! Let these projects develop organically without government/taxpayer backing! Also, from a design standpoint, the whole town of Carmel looks comical. Grand, French-style buildings and promenades, sitting next to tire yards. Who do you guys think you are? Just my POV as a recent transplant to Indy.

  4. GeorgeP, you mention "necessities". Where in the announcement did it say anything about basic essentials like groceries? None of the plans and "vision" have basic essentials listed and nothing has been built. Traffic WILL be a nightmare. There is no east/west road capacity. GeorgeP, you also post on www.carmelchatter.com and your posts have repeatedly been proven wrong. You seem to have a fair amount of inside knowledge. Do you work on the third floor of Carmel City Hal?

  5. I don't know about the commuter buses...but it's a huge joke to see these IndyGo buses with just one or two passengers. Absolutely a disgusting waste of TAXPAYER money. Get some cojones and stop funding them. These (all of them) council members work for you. FIRE THEM!

ADVERTISEMENT