Race officials: Marathon pumped $34.4 million into Austin economy

Female champion Allison Macsas, Olympic silver medalist and Austin Marathon ambassador Leo Manzano, and 2017 male champion Joe Thorne pose after the 2017 Austin Marathon. Photo by Ed Sparks

The 26.2-mile jaunt pumped $34.4 million into the Austin economy during race weekend, according to officials at High Five Events, which put on the event.

Race officials teamed with experts at the Bill Munday School of Business at St. Edward’s University to calculate the event’s financial impact, which marked an $8.7 million increase from 2016. That bump, though, comes partly because of a change in what data is included in calculations.

Ali Dadpay, associate dean, MBA director, and professor of economics at St. Edward’s, conducted the research for the 2017 economic impact report. He incorporated High Five Events’ localized spending, volunteer contributions and job creation statistics to measure the direct, indirect and induced economic impact.

Participants relax with a cold beer after the race in the Oskar Blues Austin Beer Garden. Photo by Ed Sparks

“The Austin Marathon is an example of a sports event which vitalizes the local economy and creates significant revenue for the city and the local business community,” Dadpay said in a press release. “We have used estimated spending and estimated averages to aggregate total spending. The multiplier effect for this event is significant, and we can believe it impacts all economic sectors in our region.”

Marathon officials glowed over the news.

“This year’s economic contributions by the Austin Marathon showcase the growth of Austin’s flagship running event, the staggering financial impact it has on the city of Austin, and the idea that Austin is a destination for runners from around the world,” Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events, said in a press release.

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