Local News

Rock 'n' Roll Marathon generates millions for Triangle economy

Posted July 8, 2014

Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in downtown Raleigh, N.C. on April13, 2014. 12,500 runners made it to the capital city for a day of music and running. Paul Himberger won the men's marathon with a time of 2:38:57 and Heidi Bretscher won the women's marathon with 2:49:46. Both runners from Durham, N.C. (Chris Baird / WRAL Contributor).

— The inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Raleigh Marathon generated more than $8.1 million for the local economy, far more than the original estimates made by Raleigh city leaders, according to a report released Tuesday by the San Diego State University Sports MBA program.

More than 18,074 visitors came to Raleigh from outside Wake County for marathon festivities, and the event filled 7,444 room nights for Raleigh hotels. 

Local municipalities collected $363,107 in taxes and other tourism-related fees in the days before and after the April 13 race, according to the SDSU report.

"The numbers are even better than we had originally estimated. The economic impact and the tax collection validates what we thought all along, that the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series would be a wonderful event for Raleigh and that it would provide our community with a major economic boost," Scott Dupree, executive director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, said in a statement. 

Prior to the event, local vendors made about $140,000 at the Health and Fitness Expo at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Nearly 11,000 people participated in the race, and 10,229 crossed the finish line of either the half-marathon or marathon, officials said. Runners came from 49 different states and eight different countries to pound the pavement through Raleigh.

"With more than 50 percent of the participants coming from out of town, the economic impact study confirms the value of this new event for Raleigh and its potential to draw new visitors to the city," Dana Allen, SVP of Competitor Group, operator of the event, said in a statement.

The event was also a boon for the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Four hundred sixty-five "Team V" participants raised more than $300,000 for the foundation running either the half or full marathon.

Registration for the 2015 event opened in May, and the race will be held on April 12, 2015.

"We are delighted with our partnership with the Rock 'n' Roll team, and we are already looking forward to Rock 'n' Roll Raleigh 2015," Dupree said.


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  • citizen6422003 Jul 8, 2014

    Seems like the biggest beneficiaries are hotels and restaurants. How much did Raleigh fork over to host this event?

  • Arthur Raleigh Jul 8, 2014
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    Does this include the subtraction for all the businesses which were closed because no one could get to them?

  • Chip Dipson Jul 8, 2014
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    View quoted thread

    You must be new here...

  • Bill Brasky Jul 8, 2014

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    Where did you get your 4 million that you claim cost the city?

  • jackaroe123 Jul 8, 2014

    They should have named that one state w/ no representation, shamed them, started a feud. I hope it was SC.

    I wonder if $8 million makes it worth is for those people who were outraged that their commute was re-routed for an extra mile.

  • A person Jul 8, 2014

    They collected $363,107 in tax revenue, and it only cost $4 million of tax-payer money to put it on leaving a minimal loss of $3,636,893, but it made money for the city council member receiving big kickbacks

  • Pepe Silvia Jul 8, 2014

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    At least your username suits you...

  • dwntwnboy2 Jul 8, 2014

    "I would suggest the figure was much smaller"- well, unless there is evidence that says otherwise, I'm going to stick with the official numbers rather than some armchair guess. Those of us that live and work downtown actually saw the crowds of people all over the place- in shops, restaurants and the convention center. It's great that Raleigh is getting these types of events- it can only help our city grow and become a great place to hold even bigger events! We had the NHL draft, the NHL All Star Weekend, we have the Bluegrass Festival & Awards, Rock & Roll Marathon- the list just keeps growing. YAY Raleigh!!

  • iopsyc Jul 8, 2014

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    Did you read the report? Or are you just assuming Mr. Minto is an unprofessional hack?

  • Ms. Skeptical Jul 8, 2014

    Amazing how the numbers become inflated for such events. I would suggest the figure was much smaller; officials always gin it up.