Attendance For This Year’s Indianapolis 500 Will Not Suffer A Drop As Big As Expected

A massive crowd attended last year's Indy 500
A massive crowd attended last year's Indy 500

Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials and motorsports business observers were concerned this year’s Indianapolis 500 would "see a major attendance decline after last year’s 100th running of the race," but that "decline isn’t nearly as big as some had imagined it could be," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL.

A 15% year-over-year attendance decline is "rarely good news for an international sporting event," but for the '17 Indy 500 "it's likely a relief." The "aim all along has been for this year’s attendance to beat" '15, which was about 220,000. Matching last year’s attendance, estimated at 355,000, was "never seen as a realistic goal."

IMS President Doug Boles said that he "expects the track’s corporate space inventory — including 100-plus suites and the Hulman-Terrace Club — to sell out, as well as tickets for the concert in the Snake Pit on race day."

Visit Indy President & CEO Leonard Hoops said, "It's big — not quite as big as last year, but it’s going to be a very busy weekend."

Meanwhile, IMS officials are "working on a better plan to get race fans in and out of the track on race day."

IMS officials said that getting fans "out of the track after last year's race was a major problem." They are "working on a deal with Uber" and have Taxis giving "special access to the track."

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