Indy 500 sellout likely to create price boom on secondary market

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway dropped the checkered flag Friday on their year-long race to sell out the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Speedway officials announced Friday on the steps of the Indiana Statehouse that all reserved seats for the May 29 race are sold out.

Though the Speedway doesn’t release attendance or ticket sales information, a source close to the IMS told IBJ that about 238,000 tickets for reserved seats have been sold.

The sellout is expected to drive up the price of tickets on the secondary market.

Speedway President Doug Boles said it’s the first Indy 500 sellout in at least 20 years, adding that IMS officials expect 100,000 more fans at this year’s race than last year's.

“Every Indianapolis 500 is special, but the buzz surrounding the 100th Running has been building for nearly a year, ever since the checkered flag fell on the 99th,” Boles said in a prepared statement.

If the Speedway is able to bring in 100,000 more paying customers this year, sports business experts said that should mean at least an additional $7 million in ticket revenue for the track this year.

General admission tickets for the infield should push total attendance well over 300,000.

Renny Harrison, owner of Carmel-based FanFare Tickets, said tickets on the secondary market were recently selling for at least twice the cost they did a year ago, with some selling for more than $1,500.

“A seat that sold for $200 last year [on the secondary market] is selling for at least $400 this year,” Harrison told IBJ late last month. “We’re getting five times as many calls for Indianapolis 500 tickets than we did a year ago. No one anticipated it would be this good.”

Reserved tickets on StubHub were priced at $104 to $10,000 Friday afternoon.

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