New York Marathon Canceled: A Tough Call
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy the New York City and surrounding areas have been greatly effected. With the New York City marathon scheduled just days after the storm when much of the city and surrounding boroughs still in need of aid and support there was a lot of people there was a lot of controversy around still holding the event. In the end the decision was to cancel the race. Perhaps this was the right call and I am sure it was not made lightly. The marathon is not only an amazing event but it has become a symbol of pride for the city. It draws runners and spectators from around the world, with nearly 47,000 finishers in 2011 it is the largest marathon run today.
The main outcry from those against continuing to run the event is it was foolish and wrong to allocate resources to putting on an event when there are still people that are without power and other basic essentials. So the one side of me says that “yes absolutely we need to cancel or at least postpone the race.” On the other hand the economist in me screams out to look at the data and what that shows and what will be the best net benefit for helping to recover from the storm.
I am sort of a closet economist and enjoy viewing and breaking down data so here you go, courtesy of Rant Finance blog.
In 2011 the marathon and its 47,000 runners brought approximately $1,800 each into the NYC economy during the length of their stay here along with the millions generated by the average four family and guests each who rang up another $326 million or so.
Add in approximately $11 million in direct tax revenue that will be lost plus the loss of an additional $24 million for charities, and the economic hit of canceling becomes clear.
Was this the right call, I think so, but it is still a tough call that still has its downsides. Was this the right call?