IBJNews

Study finds $124M in visitor spending at fairgrounds

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana State Fairgrounds generated $124 million in visitor spending in 2011 and has an annual impact on the local economy similar to a factory employing 500 people, according to a study released Wednesday.

“There’s really nothing in Indiana that’s quite comparable to the state fairgrounds,” said study author Bruce Jaffee, Indiana University professor of business economics, in a prepared statement. “Its impact is different from something like the Super Bowl or a Final Four because it’s not a one-time occurrence.  It’s an economic engine generating spending, revenue and tax receipts year after year.”

In his study, Jaffee likened the fairgrounds to a manufacturing plant with 500 to 600 employees and per-employee revenue of $300,000 per year.

The latest study follows one in 2011 that found the Pepsi Coliseum at the fairgrounds generated $89.3 million in spending, with $73.3 million of that coming from out-of-town visitors. The 73-year-old coliseum accounts for 40 percent of the fairgrounds’ year-round operating revenue.

The Indiana State Fair Commission recently approved a plan to expand the coliseum’s seating from 8,000 to 9,000 by 2014. The renovation is slated to start this fall.

Now the commission is looking to draw attention to the fairgrounds for its year-round events.

“People know all about our wonderful fair, but hundreds of other year-round events draw millions of people to Indianapolis, and that results in an important economic boost to our area businesses and tax revenue,” Indiana State Fair Commission Chairman Andre Lacy said  in a prepared statement.

Jaffee took a conservative approach with the study by separating spending by visitor and local residents. The $124 million was spent by out-of-county visitors. Marion County residents spent another $34.4 million at the fairgrounds last year, he found. That money was likely to have been spent in Indianapolis anyway.

Jaffee did not calculate indirect spending by people who make money from the fairgrounds but said that could double the total impact.

The 17-day Indiana State Fair accounted for nearly 21 percent, or $26.2 million, of the fairgrounds-generated spending. That was up almost $7 million from 2001, the last time a study was conducted.

Fair attendees also generated more “balanced” spending, both inside and outside the fairgrounds, Jaffee noted. About three-quarters of the $124 million in visitor spending takes place inside the fairgrounds, the study said.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Must be a lot of swap meets down there
    Nuff said...
  • Shrffling Dollars
    Here is my thinking. Tourism is just shuffling dollars around and not creating much value. Yes, we love the fair and for that the sports in Indianapolis. But, this is not the same as good manufacturing or production jobs. These reports are self serving and the multipliers are always at the high end of reality.
  • No Accountability
    They forgot to subtract the $11 million expense for killing and injuring some of their guests.

    And don't forget the countless additional millions being spent on lawyers and meaningless engineering/procedural studies trying to shift blame onto the victims and others.

    Coming up on one year anniversary with no changes in State Fair leadership.
  • Hope they didn't spend much for this study
    Wow, another inflated economic impact study telling us how important they are.

    Just waiting for them to start asking for money.

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. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

ADVERTISEMENT