|Before Tony George split the sport and nearly destroyed it, renewals would sell out the entire speedway as soon as ticket renewals went on sale. And that was when the Speedway had far more seats. Compare that to today.|
Indianapolis Motor Speedway today put '17 Indy 500 tickets on sale to the general public after what track President Doug Boles is calling a “tremendous" renewal period. In the renewal window heading into this year's 100th running, which ultimately drew 350,000 people, IMS saw a surge compared to '15 renewals because of the special nature of this year's race. Industry observers have been watching to see how many people IMS could retain for '17, and IMS' 500-hour renewal period, which started midnight after the race, was the first indicator of those retention efforts. Boles told THE DAILY that for '17, IMS retained more than 50% of the uptick for renewals it saw in '16, which equated to a low-five-figure amount of tickets. IMS originally projected a 33% retention rate.
Boles noted the goal for IMS is to retain a similar amount of day-over-day sales heading into the 101st running, which is six months from today. Boles: "We're going on sale (to the general public) for the 2017 race in a better position than we've been in in almost a decade for the Indy 500. … If that holds true, we'll have a significant bump over '15. Selling out for '17 isn't outside the possibility, but we're just going to have a significant increase over '15; I think we'll be down a little from '16. But still, the momentum and direction of the event is going the right way." Adam Stern/SportsbusinessDaily.com