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Houston Marathon provides economic impact for city

Chevron Houston Marathon Brings in $51.1M for Houston

Houston Marathon

Houston Marathon

Run for a Reason charity program raised a record $2.1 million for local nonprofits

HOUSTON  – The Chevron Houston Marathon race weekend of events generated approximately $51.1 million in total economic impact for the City of Houston this January, more than doubling its last economic impact report from 2003, according to a commissioned study released today.

“As we approach our 40th anniversary, our organization continues to conduct an event that is a point of pride for the community,” stated Houston Marathon Committee Executive Director Wade Morehead. “Providing an annual event that has a significant economic impact for local businesses and charities is the result of the commitment, dedication and passion exhibited annually by our participants, volunteers, sponsors and committee members.”

The study breaks down the economic impact into three categories: direct expenditures, indirect and induced expenditures, and other sources based on spending in a variety of categories including hotel, transportation, entertainment and retail. The largest single expense category in all cases was restaurants. Expenditures at the Ironman Sports Medicine Institute at Memorial Hermann EXPO, a two-day health and fitness exhibition attracting more than 60,000 attendees, and hotel expenses were also significant.

“The Harris County – Houston Sports Authority recognizes the significance that a $51.1 million annual event has on the local community and how much it helps our sales efforts to attract other prestigious, major sporting events to the region,” commented Janis Schmees, HCHSA executive director. “Due to the success and enormous growth of the Chevron Houston Marathon over the years, our region has developed a national reputation in the running community for putting on a first-class event. This was clearly recognized by USA Track & Field, as well as the United States Olympic Committee when Houston won the bid to host the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon.”

Conducted by Dr. Don Hoyte, Principal of, the economic impact study is based on a survey of more than 4,700 participants in the 2011 Chevron Houston Marathon, Aramco Houston Half Marathon and El Paso Corporation 5K.

“This study of the economic impact of race weekend is significant in several respects,” stated Hoyte, who has developed methods to assess the economic impact of multiple sporting events, including the 2004 Super Bowl, 2004 and 2008 Final Fours, 2006 NBA All-Star Game, 2006 MLB All-Star Game, and the 2007 Big 12 Football Championship.

“First, it documents the direct expenditures by starters, affiliated and associated fans as reaching nearly $22.1 million for all three races. Second, by applying the consistent and industry-standard economic analysis tool of IMPLAN multipliers, this direct impact is seen as generating another $20.6 million in economic gains to the city of Houston. Third, the results of a survey effort based on more than 4,700 participant responses – representing about 1 in every 4 runners – provides incontrovertible proof of the importance of this event to Houston and the state of Texas.”

Approximately $12.3 million represents indirect and induced expenditures, impacts on the City of Houston that would not have occurred if the Chevron Houston Marathon race weekend of events did not take place.

In addition, the number of jobs supported by expenditures on the event is based on the $34.4 million in direct, indirect and induced expenditures. In total, expenditures at the event directly supported 359 jobs in the Houston metro area, 43 jobs through indirect expenditures and 45 jobs through induced economic effects for a total of 447 jobs.

Other economic gains to the Greater Houston area included media coverage of these events which generated in excess of $14.5 million based on print and online articles and media broadcasts. In addition, nearly $2.1 million was raised for 52 local nonprofits through the Run for a Reason charity program, which has generated more than $12.4 million in its 17-year history.

The Houston Marathon Committee last conducted an economic impact survey in 2003 before the event had grown to its current size and popularity.


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