Economic boost from NASCAR race a welcome sight for Charlotte

NASCAR and economy
(Christian Flores | WBTV)
(Christian Flores | WBTV)

CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - Rainy conditions delayed races during this weekend's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race festivities, but that didn't stop fans from all over the country from enjoying their time in Charlotte.

The city certainly enjoyed their company. According to a spokesman for the Charlotte Motor Speedway, this weekend's race and next weekend's Coca Cola 600 - which will also be at the speedway - will bring in an estimated $230 million. They also create about 4,200 jobs.

That same spokesman tells WBTV fans coming to the two races will represent each of the 50 states and 25 countries, 4,100 cities worldwide in total.

"We got people from Boston I'm with, and I'm from Mississippi myself," said Robert Harper, a NASCAR fan who traveled to Charlotte for the all-star race.

This economic boost comes at a good time. According to the most recent data from the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, seven events planning to come to Charlotte canceled, and another 13 events eliminated Charlotte from the final selection phase in the wake of House Bill 2's passing. That cost the city more than $2.5 million.

Another 36 events have expressed concern about staying in Charlotte. Combined, those events will bring in almost $84 million to the city.

The NBA has also discussed the possibility of moving the 2017 NBA All Star Game out of Charlotte. As it stands now, the game is still scheduled to stay, but if pulled, it would cost Charlotte around $100 million.

All NASCAR fans were focused on this weekend was the smell of gasoline, the sound of engines revving and the drama of a race.

"I'm just out here to have a good time," said Rae Wideman, a fan from the Charlotte area.

Leading up to next weekend's Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, there will be events held for fans each day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte.

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