Three-fourths of ticket buyers to new Speedway road race from Indiana

November 21, 2013
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Ticket sales for the inaugural IndyCar road race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway next May are off to a fast start, IMS officials say. The officials expect attendance to hit at least 50,000—the high end of Speedway projections when the event was announced in September.

“We had a very good first week and we’ve had steady interest since,” said IMS President Doug Boles.

As expected, the May 10 race will be attended mostly by locals, with 76 percent of the ticket buyers coming from Indiana, according to Boles.

The density of ticket buyers coming from Indiana means visitor spending from the event will be limited, tourism and hospitality experts said. If the early sales projections hold true, that means only about 12,000 non-Hoosiers will attend the race.

The other buyers are spread across 41 states—particularly Illinois and Ohio, followed by Kentucky, Michigan and Wisconsin—and six countries.

Seats in turn four of the IMS oval are most popular. Upper deck tickets there “are basically gone,” Boles said. Tickets in oval turn one also are selling briskly.

“The higher up you go in those areas, the stronger the sales,” Boles explained.

While sales have been slow for general admission tickets—which would allow fans access to much of the infield, Boles said the views atop several of the infield mounds “are spectacular.” One mound in particular between turns two and three of the road course offer views of “multiple passing zones,” Boles said.

“We think once people experience those areas, they’ll be very popular,” Boles said, adding that a good number of general admission tickets could be sold the week or even the day of the race.

“We think this race could be a lot like the MotoGP [motorcycle] race with a lot of walk-up [day-of-race] ticket sales,” Boles said.

The new race is fueling early interest in the Indianapolis 500. Since the Grand Prix of Indianapolis tickets went on sale Oct. 14, ticket sales for the Indianapolis 500 have spiked. Fans who buy tickets to the 500 get $10 off their ticket to Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

“We sold more tickets to the Indianapolis 500 in two days than we did during three weeks last year,” Boles said. “We feel like this is really going to energize the month of May at the Speedway.”

This week, IMS crews laid down the last of the pavement of the redesigned road course on the Speedway’s infield, with team owner Sarah Fisher riding atop the paver as it was finished. Today, 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan will turn a few laps on the serpentine course in a Chevrolet Corvette.

  • Progress
    Well, well. Looks like there is some progress going on over there at 16th and Jonestown. Let's hope they get this right and make other improvements with the facilities while they are at it. We will be watching..bawaaahaaahaa.
  • Video of Delapidated Speedway
    Wrong again, hater. I did not run over to IMS with my video camera but another like-minded fan did and I am grateful. IMS is a national treasure and parts of it are being badly neglected. There is a short video submitted by a concerned fan that illustrates the amount of degradation in the only area visitors are allowed most days of the year. You can see it on my blog at
  • What did you do with the real Chief? I would expect more out of town sales as the event gets closer. People hearing more about it and people who plan their vacation around it. Curious to see how it draws in the coming years.
  • Desperate is... Desperate does. That is the real story here. But it would require extensive cause and effect analysis pf why the sport comes to this. The one thing it does bare out: The Indianpolis racing scene over at IMS is an Indianer thang with internaitonals the rest of the nation cares an iota about.
    • ????
      Will that paver that Sarah Feesher was driving be faster than a Crapwagon V2 on the repaved Mickey Mouse road course?
    • The RUSSIANs are COming!!!!
      Mikhail Aleshin is gonna be the next Elmer George or !!! This is AWESOME! Russian ride buyers bring ruble! It's catchy! HaY, has J. Douglas Boils Saved our Track yet? Has IMS done anything about the hideously ugly and down-right dangerous DW12 car that has maimed several Indycar drivers this year (and forced at 3 time Indy champ into retirement)? How about them catch fencing at strret courses that flies into the crowds? Or the non-existant DW12 sidepods that allow pelvic fractures and career ending concussions???? FIRRE MaRK MILES IMMEDIATELY....he's taking this sport to the scrap heap. HaY, I'm crippled and in a wheel chair....why aren't they fixing ADA handicap access...yet they just spent $5 million on the re-paving of the Indy road course...the one that F1 driver laugh at, and motorcyclists scoff? FIX our handicap accessibility PLEASE, thats what the $100million was for. I was at the speedway yesterday and got my wheelchair stuck in one of them GIAGANTE crater potholes in the IMS museum parking lot. Donald Davidson had to call maintenance to get me out of it. Man, that IMS is in horrible condition. And now, the Russians are coming. Sheesh...
      • The deadgredation of IMS
        and opened wheeled racing began with the IRLdefender defendering TOney GOrge
      • I'm shocked
        SHOCKED, that the only people who care about the sorry bastardization that is Hulmancar, are all located in Indiana. After all, that's what the H/G clan wanted, right? It's all about indi, donchya know...
        • D shouldn't worry
          about the condition of the facility, it only has to last until May 29, 2016
        • ADA
          Read your post - Just an FYI - the hundred million is not an ADA upgrade deal. The Speedway settled a Federal court case where they were ordered to bring the Speedway up to ADA standards and as a result they hired lobbyist to get the city to kick in to offset the costs they will incur to meet the federal regs. Pretty savy and went way under most radar screens. They need to get this up to ADA standards and they will.
        • JIM
          Jim - I find it interesting you are reading about Indy Car when you obviously have little interest - just anger. What's with that? I figure you are either a life long Indy car fan and see it going South or a NASCAR fan - which is it? I get your Hulman thing but make a point that will help if you are an Indy Car fan or shut up and quit being a hater and scurry on back down your hole. We (Indy Car Fans) want a strong series and ya - guess what - a lot of us live in Indy - go figure! The Indianapolis 500 is a great event and an American tradition. Speaking of that are you American or just a jealous foreigner that wants to throw stones? Whatever your about get a clue - it's racing - cars go fast and I want more of it!
        • ADA Standards
          So, it's been 10 or so years for ADA stuff and now they got millions for paving the road course but not get an elevator to hoist a rascal scooter up to the top of E Stand? The $100million was to be used for the ADA too, bro. Why isn't it fixed yet?
        • I'm SHOCKED
          SHOCKED to discover that indi folk like Dan think that hulmancar and NASCAR are the only motorsport one could possibly be a fan of, plus they dislike "jealous foreigners". Who'd of thunk it??? :rolleyes:
        • Bodykit suck
          I see body kits for 2015 are a reality! However, the main regulation is the 2012 Dallara body kit is already approved as one of the body kits. How funny is that? LOL, that'll capture the fans interest. Bwahahaha
        • Hulmancar
          Hulmancar, the greatest spectacle of racing, in the tri-state area.

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        1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

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