(Photo Courtesy of the Boston Athletic Association)
This weekend, Massachusetts welcomes the world for the 120th running of the Boston Marathon, considered one of the premier athletic competitions in modern history.
Over 30,000 runners from the United States and 98 other countries are expected to compete on Monday, April 18, 2016, according to the Boston Athletic Association (BAA). Up to one half million fans will line the 26.2 mile route that passes through eight cities and towns from Hopkinton to Boston, cheering on the spirit and determination of the runners.
Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Massachusetts Office of Business Development, said the Boston Marathon “underscores the community spirit of our local business and tourism industry, including hotels, restaurants and retail shops. It also provides a welcomed economic boost, especially for small businesses located in cities and towns along the route.”
“The Boston Marathon is one of the most iconic sports traditions in the world,” said Francois Nivaud, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. “Thanks to press coverage by over 200 media outlets, the Marathon helps our tourism industry showcase the unparalleled beauty, culture, history and spirit of Massachusetts.”
Activities leading up to the Marathon include the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo, taking place Friday, April 15 through Sunday, April 17 at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center at 900 Boylston Street in Boston’s Back Bay. On Saturday, April 16, the BAA is holding a 5K race, starting and ending on Boston Common, with over 10,000 entrants, including 600 from outside the U.S.
Pat Moscaritolo, President and CEO of Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, estimates that marathon activities will bring an estimated $188.8 million (USD) in spending impact to the region. “All of us in the Boston area visitor industry look forward each year to the Boston Marathon and the remarkable spending impacts this historic event brings to our community.”
The Boston Athletic Association launched the Boston Marathon back in 1897, after one of its members, Arthur Blake, competed in the marathon at the first Modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896. At the 1897 Boston Marathon, 15 runners ran, compared to 30,000 runners in 2016.
“Massachusetts is proud of its championship sports culture, ranging from amateur, youth and collegiate programs to our acclaimed professional sports teams,” said Shannah McArdle, Director of the Massachusetts Sports Marketing Office. “The Boston Marathon highlights the competitive and generous spirit of both the sport and the people of Massachusetts.”
For information on visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
To find out more about Massachusetts sporting activities throughout the year, visit Massachusetts Sports Marketing Office.