Economic impact of no fans at Indy 500

Big Race - Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (WDTN) – The lack of fans at the Indy 500 this year has nonprofits scrambling. They rely on the hundreds of thousands of visitors for support every year.

No race fans means Joshua Clay’s organization is missing out on thousands of dollars in donations.

“60,000 dollars is our typical revenue from one of these events,” he says.

The Exchange Club of Speedway holds ‘Golf 4 Kids’ every year at the track.

Clay says, “This is going to have a 2-3-year impact on the organizations in our town.”

It’s an impact felt by all nonprofits in Speedway. Volunteers help with clean-up or park cars in hopes of getting donations. Town officials say groups raise more than $272 thousand in a typical year and that funds projects and events all year for community groups.

“That impacts everything from student scholarships, to our robotics club and extracurriculars for the kids, to we’re not a busing community – our kids walk to school. So, if they need a bus for an athletic event, we have to fundraise to pay for that,” says Kelly Turner, Director of Communications with the Town of Speedway. “When you look at a town of 12,000 people and see the donations are typically coming from the 350,000 plus visitors that come to town every year, it’s a huge gap to fill.”

There is a way fans can help: the COVID Community Relief Fund. The website shows impacted organizations and how you can help.

“We all love each other; we all support each other, and we’ll get through it somehow. But any support we can get from our race fan family that show up once a year,” says Tammy Smith, Director of Speedway Parks and Recreation.

All of the money donated will go directly to the organizations if you’d like to help.

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