Fairgrounds' economic impact valued at $124M


The Indiana State Fair Commission chairman says the report into the cause of the August 2011 stage collapse is still a couple of weeks out. The chairman spoke at a meeting Wednesday.

Also, the commission heard from Dr. Bruce Jaffee, who presented findings on the economic impact of the Pepsi Coliseum.

Jaffee says the Pepsi Coliseum brings in $89 million for year-round events like ice skating. During the State Fair the Coliseum creates another $26.3 million.

The coliseum will close for renovations this fall. It will reopen in 2014 after being brought up to code.

In 2011, the Indiana State Fairgrounds had a total economic impact of $124 million. Jaffee called it a "significant impact," and noted that it was a conservative total because it doesn't include an additional $34.4 million spent by Marion County residents, assuming that those monies would be spent elsewhere in Indianapolis anyway. It also fails to account for indirect spending - the money earned by local residents who then spend it elsewhere in the city - which could easily double the amount of the total impact.

The study estimates that the fairgrounds is responsible for generating approximately $8 million in local and state taxes. Jaffee equates the fairgrounds' economic impact to that of a manufacturing firm that employs 500 to 600 people with per employee revenue of about $300,000 per year.

Nearly 21 percent, or $26.2 million, of the fairgrounds-generated spending is a result of the 17-day Indiana State Fair. That figure is up almost $7 million from the last study conducted in 2001 when the fair generated $19.5 million.