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University of Michigan Study: Michigan International Speedway drives economy

Tourism spending impact generates $414 million annually

MACKINAC ISLAND, Michigan (May 29, 2014) — Michigan International Speedway’s economic footprint is more than $414 million a year – and on an annual basis, according to a University of Michigan study released today.

Speedway President Roger Curtis released the economic impact figures alongside U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley during the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual Mackinac Policy Conference at The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.


“Hosting a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend is about so much more than simply hosting a stock car race,” Curtis said. “It’s about jobs, tourism, national visibility, economic impact and a quality of life for Michigan businesses and residents. This racetrack has been a financial shot in the arm for Southeast Michigan, including Detroit, since 1968 – and it all takes place on an annual basis. We look forward to bringing in tourists and their dollars, generating jobs, supporting research and development and the economy and showcasing everything Pure Michigan has to offer.”


The study, conducted by University of Michigan and Mark S. Rosentraub, Ph.D., Bruce and Joan Bickner Endowed Professor of Sport Management, and research assistant Matthew Rust, candidate for a degree in planning and real estate finance from the University of Michigan’s Taubman College and Ross School of Business, shows:


  • Michigan International Speedway generates more than $414 million in total economic activity annually, with nearly $173 million of that in direct economic benefit to Michigan.
  • Michigan International Speedway annually pays $2.4 million in local property taxes and more than $8.3 million in state sales and use taxes.
  • The total economic footprint of Michigan International Speedway and its national effect produces $226.6 million in earnings and 5,413 jobs.
  • About 385,000 people visit MIS on an annual basis.
  • More than half of the attendees at Michigan International Speedway’s NASCAR events come from outside the state of Michigan.

“Michigan International Speedway is home to two of the largest sporting events in the state, making multiple contributions to the state and its identity,” Rosentraub said. “Not only is there a substantial economic benefit and real growth for the state’s economy, but MIS serves as a wonderful ambassador to the state of Michigan through the prestige of having yet another major sport and entertainment event that reaches audiences in many countries.”


While some studies argue big sporting event such as the NFL’s Super Bowl also generate millions of dollars for a region, the reality is many of the cities that host such events would already garner tourists. In fact, New York / New Jersey, which hosted Super Bowl XLVIII in February, would likely already see tourism in that region at any given time. And, as Rosentraub noted, they might lose tourism as a result of travelers cancelling plans when they find out the Super Bowl is in town.


But there is no substitution effect for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the premier auto racing series in America. Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan, a town of about 1,200, is one of only 23 facilities in the world to hold such an event. And the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Michigan International Speedway twice annually.


The racetrack seats more than 72,000 people in its grandstands, with tens of thousands of others in the infield, suites and campgrounds. Most of the speedway’s guests – about 60 percent – are from outside the state and from Canada. In all, the speedway is comprised of 1,400 acres with about 9,000 campsites.


And all of its auto racing events are televised live on national networks such as ESPN, FOX Sports 1 and TNT.


But the speedway has branched out to innovate and diversify itself as a business, hospitality and entertainment venue, bringing in several new events the past year. Not only does the speedway annually host the Michigan Wine and Beer Fest presented by Experience Jackson, but it also hosts Faster Horses, a three-day country music festival produced by Live Nation, and Tough Mudder, an obstacle and endurance course.


The speedway also hosts driving schools, car shows and most recently, about 100 colleges from around the world for Formula SAE, one of only three venues in the Unites States to host this renowned competition.


Emerging efforts at the track include public and private automotive research and development.


In all, more than 385,000 people visit Michigan International Speedway on an annual basis.


MIS is also active in the community, sponsoring the largest single-day blood drive in Michigan, and frequently hosts programs supporting children with life-threatening diseases and fund-raisers for a host of humanitarian causes.


Michigan International Speedway is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Speedway Corporation®, a leading promoter of motorsports activities, currently promoting more than 100 racing events annually as well as numerous other motorsports-related activities. Besides MIS, the company in Daytona Beach, Florida, owns and/or operates 12 other of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities, including Daytona International Speedway® in Florida (home of the DAYTONA 500®); Talladega Superspeedway® in Alabama; Richmond International Raceway® in Virginia; Auto Club Speedway of Southern California™ near Los Angeles; Kansas Speedway® in Kansas City, Kansas; Phoenix International Raceway® in Arizona; Chicagoland Speedway® and Route 66 Raceway® near Chicago, Illinois; Homestead-Miami Speedway® in Florida; Martinsville Speedway® in Virginia; Darlington Raceway® in South Carolina; and Watkins Glen International® in New York.


The Company also owns and operates Motor Racing Network, the nation’s largest independent sports radio network, and Americrown Service Corporation™, a subsidiary that provides catering services, food and beverage concessions, and produces and markets motorsports-related merchandise. In addition, the Company has a 50 percent interest in the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway. For more information, visit the Company’s website at


PHOTO (L to R): U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Michigan International Speedway President Roger Curtis and Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley announce the track’s economic footprint is more than $414 million a year – and on an annual basis, according to a University of Michigan study released today.


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