Study Puts Breeders' Cup Impact at $38 Million

(from Oak Tree report)
When the Oak Tree Racing Association hosts the 20th Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Santa Anita Park on Oct. 25, more than $38 million in "economic output" will be generated in the Los Angeles area, according to a study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.

That does not include the $14 million in purses for the eight Breeders' Cup races. But even more impressive is the economic impact the event has, not only in Santa Anita's home city of Arcadia, but throughout the Los Angeles area and beyond.

The LAEDC, a private, non-profit group with the goal of attracting and increasing business and jobs in the county, compares Breeders' Cup to the scope of the U.S. Open on the PGA Tour. The presence of spectators and participants coming to the area generates spending, jobs and taxes that would not otherwise exist.

Spectators and participants will spend $12.5 million, a small portion of which is from Southern California residents, who shift spending from another local activity.

"The primary economic power of the Breeders' Cup, however," the study states, "lies in its ability – similar to that of football bowl games and boxing title fights – to draw numerous visitors to the host city from great distances."

On most racing days, nearly 100% of the attendance comes from the local area. On Oct. 25, it is predicted that 60% of the people at Santa Anita will be from outside Southern California. They will pump the economy with spending on hotels, dining, shopping, entertainment other than the Breeders' Cup, and transportation.

"As an organization devoted to the betterment of Thoroughbreds and the sport of Thoroughbred racing, Oak Tree has sought to put on Breeders' Cup Day because we can produce this showcase in the grand style it deserves," observed Sherwood Chillingworth, Oak Tree's executive vice president. "Then it became evident that the event would benefit the economy of Arcadia, other nearby cities and Los Angeles County in general, and we're proud that we can have this valuable impact, in addition to what we do for racing."

Spending by Oak Tree and Santa Anita, plus the Breeders' Cup/National Thoroughbred Racing Association partnership, is estimated at some $5.2 million.

The LAEDC analysis predicts Breeders' Cup total activity "will sustain direct and indirect jobs for 416 workers (on a full-time equivalent basis). These workers will earn wages of $11.48 million."

Local taxes, including sales tax and hotel occupancy tax, are estimated to be $721,000. The City of Arcadia receives a percentage of the betting handle at Santa Anita, and the LAEDC study projects that for Breeders' Cup week, that amount will increase from a normal $44,000 to $131,000.