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Pittsburgh Marathon pumped $22M into local economy, study says

The Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon generated $21.6 million in spending and another $900,000 in state, city and county tax revenues, a tidy sum that means its back to stay.

"We knew we had impact, but knowing exactly what it was is really beneficial in terms of showing its value to the city of Pittsburgh," says race director Patrice Matamoros. "We're already well on our way to planning the 2010 race with more than 1,700 registered participants, which is way up from where we were last year at this time."

The study also found that local and non-local runners (37.09%) went elsewhere to race during the race's five year hiatus. The city cancelled the marathon from 2004 to 2008 due to budget problems.

Dick's sees this as a long-term venture, Matamoros says.

Some 10,600 runners hit the streets last May; more than 5,500 arrived from outside of Allegheny County. The marathon attracted more than 45,000 racers and participants to the Golden Triangle and another 50,000 lined the streets to cheer. The 3-day weekend contributed $2.4 million to restaurants and bars another 21.7% of the runners stayed in local hotels, pumping $275,000 into local hotel revenues.

Local charities benefitted as well, raising $254,000 for various groups, including Pittsburgh Promise, American Cancer Society, LiveStrong, Gilda's Club, and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Racers responded that they loved the city and loved the course, which began and finished in the same location, near the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The survey was compiled online through email by Pittsburgh-based market research firm Forward Analytics.

Writer: Debra Diamond Smit

Source: Patrice Matamoros, Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon

Photograph copyright Brian Cohen

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