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Amid Reports of Nearly $3 Million Loss, Here’s How $740-Million-Worth Taylor Swift Seamlessly Exceeded NASCAR’s Influence

Published 10/10/2023, 8:03 PM EDT

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In the world of sports and entertainment, the battle for economic impact and influence often rages. Chicago recently found itself at the intersection of NASCAR’s racing prowess and Taylor Swift’s musical supremacy. As the dust settles on their contrasting impacts, Taylor Swift, with her concert at Soldier Field, eclipsed the influence of NASCAR. Prompting questions about the actual financial forces at play.

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Chicago’s Mayor Brandon Johnson made a bold decision to let NASCAR conduct a street race downtown. However, the event this past 4th of July weekend resulted in a substantial loss for the city, with expenses exceeding earnings. Chicago spent at least $3.5 million on police overtime and construction, while NASCAR’s contribution amounted to just $620,000.

Taylor Swift reeled in $140 Million in economic impact with her 3 Night concert in Chicago


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The financial reality was harsh, as NASCAR failed to generate the projected economic impact of $113.8 million. In stark contrast, Taylor Swift’s concerts have become a beacon of success. They are estimated to have generated an astounding $140 Million in economic impact in the month of July alone—around the same time when the Chicago Street race was held. Swift’s influence is such that her concerts don’t just break records in ticket sales; they stimulate local economies and drive engagement in various sectors.

A study by the Common Sense Institute estimated that two of Swift’s performances in July contributed a staggering $140 million to Colorado’s GDP. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported that Swift’s tour had a positive impact on travel and tourism, leading to record hotel revenues in the region. Chicago experienced a record number of occupied hotel rooms in June, largely attributed to the three nights of Swift’s performances at Soldier Field. Similarly, Cincinnati and Las Vegas saw a boost in tourism spending due to Swift’s presence.


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Fans were eager to be part of the experience, with an average expenditure of over $1,300 on tickets, travel, and new outfits for the concert night. QuestionPro, a survey company, estimated that Swift’s Eras tour could generate up to $4.6 billion in consumer spending for the U.S. economy as a whole. Taylor Swift’s generosity further underlines her impact. She decided to share her profits from the Eras tour, allocating $55 million for bonuses to everyone involved, from backup dancers to sound technicians. This selflessness is yet another testament to the singer’s disruptive force in the industry.

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Despite the direct losses endured by Chicago, it’s very likely that the city will welcome NASCAR once again in 2024, with even bigger promises.

NASCAR will be back in Chicago city in 2024 with a promise of improved economics

Despite facing challenges such as record rainfall and logistical concerns. The inaugural NASCAR Chicago Street Race brought in more than 47,000 unique attendees. It also generated nearly $109 million in economic impact during the Fourth of July weekend.

While it fell slightly short of initial projections, the event proved lucrative enough for Chicago to commit to a second race next summer. NASCAR, in collaboration with the city, has agreed to streamline setup and teardown processes to minimize disruptions. The Chicago Street Race is already included in NASCAR’s 2024 schedule, with the Grant Park 220 set for Sunday, July 7.

During a post-City Council meeting news conference, Mayor Brandon Johnson celebrated the deal, highlighting the need for NASCAR to reduce setup and teardown times and commit to additional resources for public safety and other associated costs. Julie Giese, president of the Chicago Street Race, expressed confidence in optimizing the schedule for the upcoming race.


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“A lot of it is just learning from the first year,” said Giese. “Being able to compress that schedule from a street closure perspective, as well as trying to tighten up that park build schedule. We feel very confident that we can trim several days off of that schedule.”

If you look closely, one might even say that NASCAR’s $109 Million economic impact was a result of just 2 days of on-track activity. And that too when the torrential rains severely impacted NASCAR’s projected numbers. So pro rata, NASCAR generated more impact than Swift.


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In the ever-evolving world of sports and entertainment, the narrative of economic impact and influence unfolds in unpredictable ways. Chicago’s experiences with both NASCAR and Taylor Swift provide insights into the varied dynamics at play.

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Written by:

Veerendra Vikram Singh


One take at a time

Veerendra Vikram Singh is a NASCAR Author at EssentiallySports. A Motorsport fan at heart, he has been following NASCAR and Formula 1 for over a decade now and has covered the on and off-track life of some of the best in the sport. He is a big fan of Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch but never lets that get in the way of authentic and fact-based reporting.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal