The Bank of America Chicago Marathon continues to provide year-over-year growth to Chicago's economy, with the 2014 race delivering an estimated $254 million in total business impact to the city. In its 38th year, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon welcomes thousands of runners from more than 100 countries and all 50 states, including a world-class elite field, top regional and Masters runners, race veterans, debut marathoners and charity runners. The race's iconic course takes runners through 29 vibrant neighborhoods on an architectural and cultural tour of Chicago.
The findings come from the latest economic impact study reported by Bank of America. The event remains a key economic driver for the city, providing more than a quarter of a billion dollars to Chicago for the second year in a row.
The independent study is conducted by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Regional Economics Applications Laboratory. Study authors used the Chicago Region Econometric Input-Output Model to estimate the direct and indirect economic impact the marathon has on the local economy.
The latest report found the event directly contributed an estimated $102.2 million to the main sectors of the tourism industry, which includes travel, lodging, entertainment and transportation, in addition to another $151.8 million in indirect activity. This is an equivalent of 1,816 jobs and $86 million worth of wages and salary income. Each dollar spent by a race participant generated an additional $1.27 worth of activity distributed throughout Chicago.
"The race is a solid example of how high-profile events contribute significantly towards Mayor Emanuel's goals for Chicago's visitor industry," said Desiree Rogers, chair of Choose Chicago's board of directors. "The Bank of America Chicago Marathon's continued upward trend in overall visitors and spending strongly supports the goal of welcoming 55 million annual visitors by 2020."
"As the steward of this legendary event for our city, Bank of America's commitment and investment to making the Chicago Marathon one of most exciting endurance races in the world has helped increase the economic impact nearly 78 percent in less than a decade," said Tim Maloney, president, Bank of America Illinois. "The continued success is due in part to the strong partnership with the city, its residents and businesses."
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon had 42,279 race participants pick up packets in 2014. Each year, the marathon attracts new visitors to Chicago and contributes to improving the image of the city as a leading tourist destination.