Tickets selling faster this year for IndyCar finale at Fontana
A year ago, much to the surprise of the IndyCar Series, more than 30,000 showed up for the inaugural MAVTV 500 on a hot September night at Auto Club Speedway, the season-finale.
“We were thrilled with the crowd, I’m glad it knocked everyone’s socks off,” said ACS president Gillian Zucker, who campaigned relentlessly for the open-wheel return after a seven-year absence. The race was won by Ed Carpenter while Ryan Hunter-Reay claimed the driving championship.
This year’s race, set for Oct. 19, is on track to produce an even better number.
“Our ticket report this morning showed that we are 8,000 ahead of last year,” Zucker said during Tuesday’s IndyCar testing at the track. “I truly expect a robust crowd. We are anticipating a huge crowd.”
That’s good news for all involved, particularity MAV TV, the title rights sponsor that’s part of the Lucas Oil empire out of Corona.
“We thought the crowd was phenomenal. A show of support gathering in the community,” said Bob Patison, president of MAVTV. “To see the ticket sales rising, it’s very encouraging that open-wheel race has such a home in California. We’re glad to see the sport growing again.”
Patison also spoke of the rumors of IndyCar moving the Fontana race, perhaps earlier in the season, as did Zucker.
“We have not had any discussions with IndyCar,” Zucker said about the situation
“We like being at the end,” said Patison, who also said this will be the second race in a three-year deal. “We like seeing it (the points race) go down to the wire; it brings a lot of interest to the race.
“If I had my preference, I would like to be at the end. But we’ll do anything to promote the series.”
It’s been quite a year for MAVTV. In the 12 months since the first race, which served as an introduction to many. Patison said it was once 90 percent male viewers, but it has changed to a 60-40 mix. Additionally, MAVTV, now carried by Direct TV, has upgraded its motorsports inventory with Speed being swallowed by FoxSports1. DailyNews.com