Fans of the 28th annual Chili Bowl Nationals have arrived in Tulsa


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Reported by: Farron Salley
Updated: 1/14 8:12 pm Published: 1/14 8:10 pm


The first race was Tuesday night and FOX23 was at the track all day uncovering the facts.

We learned this year's event is expected to be another profitable year. Close to 15,000 fans are expected at the competition.

FOX23 spoke with the Chili Bowl Publicist Bryan Hulbert, but you may recognize him as the race announcer.

"We started seeing a lot of people coming in yesterday just to see what was going on."

Hulbert continues, "you have 292 drivers from 34 states and four countries in a truly unique venue at a truly unique event."

He says each of those diversified drivers have a crew of about five people with them and about 90 percent of them come from out of state.

"So they have to go to the hotels, they have to go the restaurants, they're going into the gas stations," Hulbert said.

All aspects of Tulsa are feeling an increase in spending, thanks to the Chili Bowl Nationals picking Green Country as their destination venue.

"The rest of the country is in the dead of winter. You've got places that are still negative 30 and buried in the snow… We get to enjoy racing," Hulbert explained.

The Tulsa metro chamber says the event has brought in $15 million in recent years.

Racing and these cars will travel through 7,000 cubic yards of clay filling the track.
"We can also get the grandstands, all the rigs, all the cars and all the people in here without having to exclude anybody and say you have to stay outside," Hulbert said.

Between the quick, gritty racing and the trade show, 100,000 people are expected to make their way through the Expo Center doors in midtown Tulsa.

Fans were trickling in as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, but event coordinators and the event publicist said they expect the event center to be packed.



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