Hawkeye Downs is a non-profit organization operated by a volunteer board of directors. Hawkeye Downs is Eastern Iowa’s premiere ½ mile and ¼ paved racing venue offering a weekly racing series that attracts 100,000 visitors annually to the Cedar Rapids area. Hawkeye Downs has been the leading entertainment venue in eastern Iowa for the last 82 years offering; automotive racing, bingo, trade shows, meeting, conventions, concerts, consumer shows, motocross events, venues for trade and educational programs, go-cart racing, bicycle racing and auctions for individuals and families visiting eastern Iowa .
Hawkeye Downs Speedway has been a fixture in Cedar Rapids since 1925 , operating under different names including Frontier Park, and the Cedar Rapids Speedway. From it’s opening, until 1989, the facility was a dirt track. The 1989 season saw Hawkeye Downs become Iowa’s first weekly paved oval, with both ¼ mile and ½ mile tracks, paved pits, an enclosed tech building, MUSCO broadcast quality lighting, electronic message board, and many other outstanding features. In more recent years, a new Daktronics scoreboard and message center has been added, along with a transponder timing and scoring system.
Hawkeye Downs has been a popular venue over the years for visiting regional and national series, including ASA, IMCA, NASCAR, UMARA, USAC, and the American Indy Car Series.
Hawkeye Downs has long been considered the crowned jewel of short track racing in the Midwest, and remains as a great resource for quality outdoor family entertainment! Make your plans to join us this summer!
Regional Economic Impact Study for Hawkeye Downs
This is a regional economic impact assessment prepared for the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Statistical Area (i.e., Linn, Benton, and Jones counties).
Visitor spending represents a significant area of positive economic impact for motor sports facilities, similar studies reviewed to help identify how new consumption results in the City’s regional economy from tourism generated by Hawkeye Downs. Consequently, analysis is based on growth assumptions relating to the following categories of sales revenue: a) racetrack operations, b) retail trade, c) travel and lodging, and d) restaurant dining.
The main findings are highlighted here for ease of reference, however the complete report is available upon request.
- For the 12-month period ending September 30, 2017, total revenue from Hawkeye Downs and associated visitor spending together contributed $7.045 million to the Cedar Rapids metro economy.
- Every dollar in sales revenue generated on-site at Hawkeye Downs added an additional 4.90 into the City’s broader economy.
- Visitors to Hawkeye Downs support 498 jobs throughout the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).
- Tourism jobs supported by Hawkeye Downs account for $2.967 million in annual employee earnings.
- Tourism spending at Hawkeye Downs generates almost $500,000 in federal, state and local tax revenue every year.
*Analysis performed by Mr. David Connolly in March 2018. Given the stability of programming and events at Hawkeye Downs, it is fair to assume that the impact reflected for fiscal year 2017 (ending 9/30/17) is similar to the economic impact that would be realized for both the current fiscal year (ending 9/30/18) and the prior fiscal year (ending 9/30/16).