Economic impact from MIS reaches $414 million annually

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MIS President Roger Curtis distributes passes to race fans during the August NASCAR Sprint Cup Race weekend. Herald file photo by Mickey Alvarado.

MACKINAC ISLAND — Michigan International Speedway’s (MIS) impact on the local community is more than just a venue for avid race fans to experience NASCAR. The Speedway also provides an economic impact of $414 million annually, according to a University of Michigan study released Thursday, May 29 during the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual Mackinac Policy Conference.

“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,” said Roger Curtis, Michigan International Speedway President.

Nearly $173 million of the $414 million in annual economic activity directly benefits Michigan, according to the study. The speedway pays $2.4 million in local property taxes annually and more than $8.3 million in state sales and use taxes due to the more than 385,000 annual visitors. The speedway produces $226.6 million in earnings and 5,431 jobs, the study noted.

“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,” said Mark S. Rosentraub, Ph.D., Bruce and Joan Bickner Endowed Professor of Sport Management at the University of Michigan.

MIS is just one of 23 facilities in the world capable of hosting the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The racetrack seats more than 72,000 people. More spectate from the infield, suites and campgrounds. In all, MIS is comprised of 1,400 acres with approximately 9,000 campsites. About 60 percent of race attendees are from outside the state and Canada.

“Hosting a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend is about so much more than simply hosting a stock car race,” said Curtis. “It’s about jobs, tourism, national visibility, economic impact and a quality of life for Michigan businesses and residents.”

While MIS is home to two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races every year, the speedway has expanded its events to include Michigan Wine and Beer Fest presented by Experience Jackson; Faster Horses, a three-day country music festival; and Tough Mudder, an obstacle and endurance course competition.

The speedway also hosts driving schools, car shows and Formula SAE, one of only three venues in the United States to host the competition.

MIS is also active in the community, hosting programs and fundraisers that support children with life-threatening diseases along with a host of other humanitarian causes. MIS also sponsors the largest single-day blood drive in Michigan.

“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,” said Curtis.

MIS is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Speedway Corporation, a Daytona Beach, Fla. company.

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