CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY TO BRING JOBS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, INCREASED TAX REVENUE TO ILLINOIS

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The racing action won?t begin at Chicagoland Speedway until Spring 2001, but the project already is beginning to ring up economic benefits, generating an expected $320 million in economic activity in the Joliet and Will County region. An economic impact study by Dr. Paul Green and Dr. Peter Creticos concluded the one-time benefit of the construction project will be $212,820,000 while annual operations will account for $107,670,000 during the first year-and-a-half of the project. The study was commissioned by Raceway Associates, LLC, builders and owners of the facility. "The track further broadens the economic diversity of the Joliet-Will County region and adds to the area?s quality of life both in terms of economic opportunities as well as family recreational choices," said study author Green. "In general, the track will extend the economic resurgence of the Joliet-Will County area into the next century. It brings major-league auto racing to the Chicago area ? the second largest U.S. market unserved by a NASCAR Winston Cup Series or Indy Racing Series event ? and will attract fans from throughout Illinois and the entire Midwest." Dr. Paul Green, former Director of the Institute for Public Policy at Governors State University and now the Arthur Rubloff Professor of Policy Studies and Director of the School of Policy Studies at Roosevelt University, and Dr. Peter Creticos, an independent consultant with extensive experience in economic impact studies, were commissioned by Raceway Associates to estimate the economic impact of construction and on-going operations of this $100 million capital development project on the city of Joliet and Will County. Local economic development and tourism officials expect the track to be an engine for a new tourism industry in the region and to bring national attention to the region when major races are telecast across the nation and the world. The project will create a total of nearly 3,400 jobs, generating $107 million in wages. The 2,080 construction-related jobs are generating $71.6 million in wages, approximately 40 percent of which will be spent initially in the Joliet-Will County area. Some 1,310 indirect jobs (hotels, services, etc.) will generate $35.4 million in wages, according to the study. The track itself will employ 50 individuals throughout the year and an additional 45 full-time equivalent workers during racing events. The study assumed that each multi-day event at the track would attract 110,000 single-day trip visitors and 100,000 overnight visitors who would stay two nights (generating 200,000 hotel-room nights). Each day-trip visitor is expected to spend $25, based on industry norms. Overnight visitors are expected to spend $95.16 per day. The study determined the track project is delivering economic benefits including: Jobs: 50 full time permanent jobs at the facility 45 full-time equivalent jobs during major event weekends 2,080 construction-related jobs 1,310 indirect jobs (hotels, services, etc.) Wages: $71,610,000 in one-time wages due to construction $35,400,000 in annual wages for track and spin-off jobs New Annual Tax Revenue for Joliet: Sales Tax: $126,000 Hotel Tax: $ 44,000 Utility Tax: $134,000 Total: $304,000 Total Economic Impact: Construction: $212,820,000 Operations: $107,670,000 Total: $ 320,490,000 Tax revenues would nearly double if the track should ever expand to 150,000 seats as the developers have contemplated, according to the study. The authors note that much smaller markets have tracks with 150,000 seats. The study used a computer model operated by the Regional Economic Applications Laboratory at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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