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IRONMAN Chattanooga event cancellations represent $22.8M economic loss  

Chattanooga Tourism Co. outlines economic and social impact to the community 


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (July 16, 2020) - Since the IRONMAN 70.3 and IRONMAN full distance triathlons will not take place this year, the Chattanooga economy is missing an estimated $22.8 million. The events’ absence also takes a major hit to the social impact on the community. 

According to the official IRONMAN press release: “Based on the recent mandate from the City of Chattanooga in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Little Debbie IRONMAN Chattanooga presented by McKee, A Family Bakery triathlon originally scheduled for September 27 cannot take place in 2020 and will return on September 26, 2021. Additionally, the Sunbelt Bakery IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga presented by McKee, A Family Bakery triathlon rescheduled for August 23 cannot take place in 2020 and will return on May 23, 2021.” 

The Little Debbie IRONMAN full distance race has an estimated $17 million economic impact and the Sunbelt Bakery IRONMAN 70.3 is $5.7 million. The economic and social benefits of these events extend beyond dollars generated. The events enlist hundreds of volunteers and attract spectators, inspiring community members to focus on health, adopt new wellness routines and even compete.  

“Not having any IRONMAN events in 2020 underscores the significant value these triathlons bring to our community,” said Barry White, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Tourism Co., which partners with government and community organizations to host IRONMAN. “We’re disappointed our community will not reap the economic and social benefits of hosting the events this year; however, we have a strong relationship with IRONMAN and look forward to providing outstanding race experiences in the future.” 

IRONMAN athletes ranked Chattanooga 8th for Overall Host City Experience in 2019 out of more than 150 races. Chattanooga is scheduled to host 70.3 and full-distance IRONMANs in 2021, 2022 and 2023. 

Find more information about the Chattanooga Tourism Co. at   


About the Chattanooga Tourism Co. 

The Chattanooga Tourism Co. promotes and develops visitor experiences for our community’s economic and social prosperity. Chattanooga has been named one of 10 Best Small Cities in the U.S. in Conde Nast Traveler, a 2019 Top 100 Best Places to Live by Livability and one of 7 Rising U.S. Cities that Should be on Your 2019 Bucket List by TripAdvisor. Learn more at or follow us on social media @VisitChatt. 

Marissa Bell | Public Relations Manager 
423-424-4433 |