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Marathon Set To Bring Tourist $ To City, But Could Cause Traffic Nightmare

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A record field of more than 25,000 runners will take part in the 2012 Pittsburgh Marathon this weekend.

And while the race means 26 miles of closed roads and traffic delays, it also means big bucks for Pittsburgh.

"This event will provide an enormous contribution to our community," said Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. "This year we expect to raise about $2 million for charity."

But it's not just the charity dollars.

Millions more in tourist dollars will pour into the city. Downtown hotels have been sold out for months, and suburban hotels are filling up too.

"Twenty-five thousand people are going to come into the city. We know that 20 percent of them are from out of state. Some of them have never been to Pittsburgh," said Patrice Matamoros, the director of the Pittsburgh Marathon. "From our past, we know that 87 percent say they'd come back to Pittsburgh. We ask for a lot of patience because we do shut down roads. The event is pretty large in terms of taking up 26.2 city miles."

"We'll have a few snags… past three years we haven't had any major problem," said Asst. Chief Regina McDonald.

With or without snags, the marathon has become a premier event, which showcases Pittsburgh, raises money for charity and finishes with millions in tourism dollars.

Road closures begin about 3 a.m. Sunday and continue until 2:30 p.m.

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