NOTE: NBC 5 will offer complete live coverage of the 2017 race beginning at 7 a.m. CT online and on TV. The race can be streamed live from around world on the NBC Chicago app, which will also offer a live stream of the finish line from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Click here for more.
As the Bank of America Chicago Marathon prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary in the city, a look back at the marathon’s economic impact from last year has revealed the race brought in hundreds of millions of dollars for Chicago.
According to the latest economic impact study reported by Bank of America, the 2016 race delivered an estimated $282 million in total business impact to the city.
That means the marathon has provided more than a quarter of a billion dollars to Chicago for the fourth year in a row. The 2016 number nearly triples the $96 million it delivered in 2005.
The independent study, conducted by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Regional Economics Applications Laboratory, looked at both the direct and indirect economic impact the marathon had on local economy, according to researchers.
“As we celebrate the 40th running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, we’re proud to be part of an event that continues to have an enormously positive economic benefit for the city of Chicago,” Paul Lambert, Chicago market president for Bank of America, said in a statement. “Everyone associated with this iconic running event, including runners, spectators, residents, businesses and charity partners, feels the effects of the marathon across this great city in the heart of our communities, well beyond race weekend.”
The 2016 marathon saw 41,608 race participants pick up packets, a 5 percent increase from 2015. Of those participants, 28 percent reported they were visiting the city for the first time.
“For 40 years, the Chicago Marathon has not only brought runners and fans from across the country and around the world to Chicago, it has brought the city of Chicago together to celebrate a truly tremendous sporting event,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “I am appreciative of Bank of America’s continued support of the Chicago Marathon, a race which has a strong economic impact for Chicago and gives us another opportunity to share our renowned culture, entertainment, architecture and dining with visitors from across the globe.”
Over the last 40 years, the race has brought in more than $1 billion to the local economy, according to executive race director Carey Pinkowski.
“Taking on 26.2 miles is no small task, and the commitment and dedication of our participants, volunteers and corporate partners can be seen in the marathon’s outsized impact on our city and community,” Pinkowski said in a statement.