The Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce expects Chili Bowl to bring millions to local economy

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jan 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-09 18:44:04-05

The Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce expects the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals to bring in millions of dollars to the local economy.

Last year, the chamber says the event brought in $14 million through lodging, transportation, food and beverage and retail.

One of the hotels in town expects to be sold out by Wednesday, thanks to the Chili Bowl visitors.

"In January, it's a slow time even for corporate travelers, so if we didn't have this group in, we'd have 50 percent occupanc," said Leigh Murray, Director of Sales at the Doubletree in south Tulsa.

The Chili Bowl's organizers say about 85 percent of the spectators who reserve seats at the races are from out of town.

This year the competition has a record number of registered drivers, 375.

In 1987, the event started with 35 cars.