Bank of America Chicago Marathon Generates Record-Breaking $378 Million for Chicago Economy in 2018

October 2, 2019 at 10:00 AM Eastern

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon continues to generate significant impact for the city of Chicago, with the 2018 race contributing a record-breaking $378 million to the city’s economy, a $40 million increase from 2017. This represents the second consecutive year the marathon’s economic impact has exceeded $300 million, which was felt by tourism, hospitality, and business industries across the market.

The 41st Bank of America Chicago Marathon saw 45,857 participants, which was an increase from 2017 as noted by the number of participant packets distributed. Of these participants, 29 percent indicated they were international visitors. Each year, the marathon attracts new visitors to Chicago and enhances the image of the city as a leading tourist destination.

“The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is not only one of the largest and most prestigious marathons in world, but it is also an economic engine for our city – including a record-setting $378 million last year – that takes runners through 29 dynamic neighborhoods that together showcase our city’s diversity, history, and beauty,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “As mayor and as a fan, I look forward to joining Chicagoans and cheering on runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries for the 42nd annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon.”

A recent economic impact study found that the 2018 event directly contributed more than $154 million to the main sectors of the local tourism industry, a nearly 13 percent increase from 2017, in addition to nearly $225 million in indirect activity. This equates to 2,592 jobs and $127 million worth of wages and salary income.

The independent study is conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Regional Economics Applications Laboratory. Study authors used the Chicago Region Econometric Input-Output Model to estimate the direct and indirect economic impact the marathon has on the local economy.

“It’s been amazing to watch our event grow year after year. On top of the economic impact the marathon has on Chicago, we saw 10,000 charity runners raise a record-breaking $22.7 million for worthy causes last year,” said Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago Marathon executive race director. “To see Chicagoans welcome friends and family from all across the country, and the world, to our one-of-a-kind event each year is incredibly special.”

“To the celebrated runners, including several thousand who tirelessly raised funds for local and national charities, and to the visitors from near and far, we thank you for continuing to positively impact Chicago’s local economy by supporting and attending the Bank of America Chicago Marathon,” said Paul Lambert, Chicago market president, Bank of America. “We could not have achieved more than $378 million in economic impact last year without the support of our great city, its residents and businesses.”

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon kicks off Sunday, October 13 at Grant Park. For more information, please visit

About Bank of America Chicago Marathon

In its 42nd year on Sunday, October 13, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon welcomes thousands of runners from 140 countries and all 50 states, including a world-class elite field, top regional and Masters runners, race veterans, debut marathoners and charity runners. The race’s iconic course takes runners through 29 vibrant neighborhoods on an architectural and cultural tour of Chicago. Annually, an estimated 1.7 million spectators line the streets cheering on more than 40,000 runners from the start line to the final stretch down Columbus Drive. As a result of the race’s national and international draw, the Chicago Marathon assists in raising millions of dollars for a variety of charitable causes while generating $378 million in annual economic impact to its host city. The 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a member of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, will start and finish in Grant Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 13. In advance of the race, a two-day Abbott Health & Fitness Expo will be held at McCormick Place Convention Center on Friday, October 11, and Saturday, October 12. For more information about the event and how to get involved, go to

Bank of America

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Diane Wagner, Bank of America
Phone: 1.312.992.2370