With the Kentucky Derby now in the rear view mirror, anticipation is building for the second jewel in horseracing's Triple Crown – the legendary Preakness Stakes, which is now in its 143rd year at the historic Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Horse enthusiasts far and wide will be breaking out their big hats and seersucker suits on Saturday, May 19 for a day steeped in tradition.
While the race has always been an outstanding opportunity to market Maryland's unparalleled assets to a global audience, the Preakness Stakes is also a significant economic generator for Baltimore City and the entire state of Maryland. An economic impact study produced by the Maryland Department of Commerce's Office of Research showed that in 2017, the Preakness drew a record-breaking crowd of more than 140,000 to Old Hilltop and generated nearly $40 million in total economic impact, which includes everything from hotels and transportation to restaurants and retail.
Among the study's other highlights:
- Roughly 500 full-time equivalent jobs and $14.3 million in salaries were generated by visitor spending on the Preakness.
- Expenditures and employment from Preakness race day operations and visitor spending generated $2.6 million in state and local taxes.
- Race-day betting in Maryland increased by six percent compared to 2016's race, resulting in more than $5 million total in-state bets placed.
"For Maryland, the Preakness is an opportunity to showcase our thriving horse industry, first-class hospitality establishments, and impressive tourist attractions," said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. "The economic impact isn't just felt in dollars spent, it is also the positive publicity for Maryland and its assets that marks the true value of this day."
For more information, visit preakness.com.