By Frank Santoroski, Staff Writer
In a press conference today attended by Indiana State Governor, Mike Pence, and Indianapolis Mayor, Joe Hogsett, The Indianapolis Motor Speedway officially announced a sell-out of reserved seating for the historic 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Oil.
“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,” said IMS President J. Douglas Boles. “Our fans are the best in sports and their incredible support of this year’s race will make it a truly historic day for ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.’”
At a time when we are becoming accustomed to seeing many open seats at not only racing events, but also stick-and-ball sports, this is truly a fantastic announcement for the Speedway.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of major sporting events across the globe,” said Allison Melangton, Senior Vice President of Events for Hulman Motorsports. “But this race has a completely unique ability to inspire pride and passion in its fans. This year, our community has tapped into that passion in so many incredible ways, and it’s simply inspiring to see all of these volunteer driven efforts working hand in hand with IMS and the 500 Festival to build valuable partnerships that enrich lives and push everyone forward.”
The last Indy 500 to sell out was in 1996, at the very beginning of the open-wheel split. The brisk ticket sales for this years 500 bode well for the Verizon IndyCar Series that has seen positive growth for the past several seasons.
In addition to the estimated 235,000 grandstand tickets, all parking, camping, SnakePit, concerts and Suites are sold out for race day. General Admission infield tickets are still available. The total attendance is expected to top 350,000.
Perhaps the largest benefactors of the sellout is the third-party ticket broker industry who are commanding as much as four to five times face value for race day tickets. In addition, the hotel industry is experiencing a boom, with many rooms sold months ahead of schedule.
The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be held on May 29, 2016.