2015 Chicago Marathon's Economic Impact Jumped to $277M: Study

It’s no secret the Bank of America Chicago Marathon has a huge impact on the city, but as the 2016 event nears, it has become clear just how much the big race brings to Chicago.

Last year, the iconic race brought 39,499 participants to Chicago, resulting in more than $277 million in total economic impact, according to an economic impact study reported by Bank of America Tuesday. 

That’s an increase of more than 9 percent from 2014, organizers said.

Spending a little less than four days in the city, participants and attendees brought in $18 million in transportation, a 180 percent increase from 2014, and spending on shopping nearly doubled, reaching $41 million.

“Over 70 percent of the runners are actually non-residents of Chicago and 19 percent of them are international,” said Paul Lambert, Chicago market president for Bank of America. “So people come in, they bring their family, they bring their children, they spend the weekend and they do what you know we normally would do- they stay at hotels, they enjoy our restaurants.”

In addition, the event brought nearly 2,000 jobs to Chicago, according to organizers.

This year, the Chicago Marathon steps off Oct. 9, with live coverage beginning at 7 a.m. on NBC and NBCChicago.com.

With organizers adding events like a 5k run for family members the weekend of the big race, Oct. 9 won’t be the only day for runners and attendees to flock to the Windy City.

"The Bank of America Chicago Marathon continues to be a major demand generator each year, helping foster increased visitation to Chicago not only from throughout the United States, but also from around the globe," David Whitaker, president and CEO of Choose Chicago, said in a statement. “With 19 percent of participants traveling here internationally and 27 percent of runners visiting Chicago for the first time, the marathon strongly supports the city’s goal of increasing its visibility as a tourist destination.”

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