Darlington Raceway brings big economic gains to the area

Darlington Raceway brings big economic gains to the area

DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A recent economic impact study from the University of South Carolina found that Darlington Raceway brings more than $50 million into the Pee Dee each year.

Darlington Raceway officials reached out to USC to conduct the 2016 study. The goal, they said, is to continue with the track's momentum.

"It's not really difficult when you have the whole industry behind you and the success of it," said Dennis Worden, public relations director for Darlington Raceway. "I mean, NASCAR is on board, the race teams seem to enjoy what's going on here. Darlington is back as being one of the pillars of the NASCAR schedule."

Track managers said NASCAR's official throwback weekend at Darlington brings in a $53 million economic benefit to South Carolina.

"That includes $50.1 million of economic activity directly here in the Pee Dee and that's a really important factor," Worden said. "I mean obviously we host an event kind of the size of the Super Bowl every single year."

Darlington Raceway put out a study back in 2008 after a $10 million capital project took place when crews repaved the vehicle tunnel and the track. Worden said he believes NASCAR is behind what's going on right now at Darlington Raceway, which employs almost 800 people in the community

Dr. Thomas Regan, a professor for USC's College of Hospitality, Retail and Sports Management, said th study shows fans are coming into Darlington County from all 50 states and 14 nations, and it's all for one reason.

So, Regan looked at spending patterns of the raceway and the International Speedway Cooperation, which owns the track.

His study also noted Darlington Raceway operations generate more than $20.79 million in labor income for S.C. workers annually, along with more than $7 million in fiscal revenues.

"Of the more than $7 million total, over $2.8 million in tax revenues benefit state and local government, while the remaining $4.2 million in tax revenues benefit the federal government," Regan said.

According to Regan, these numbers shows how historic the track truly has been ever since 1950.

"Here's a star city right in the middle of the Pee Dee in South Carolina that produces $53 million for the state," he said.

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