On the heels of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s announcement Wednesday that 135,000 spectators would be permitted to attend the 105th Indianapolis 500 next month, there seemed to be an obvious question: if IMS has already sold 170,000 tickets, who gets left outside looking in?
And the answer would appear to be, no one.
“We did sell 170,000 two years ago and that represents 33,000 customers,” said Mark Miles, president of Penske Entertainment. “So last week we went back like we did a year ago and told our customers we had some planning to do. We said if you want to keep your seats, no need to reply, but if you want to reduce your number and get credit, please let us know. Well, we had 33,000 tickets wanting credit and now we’ve put out the rules and what people can expect and we’ll go through Friday and see if the same ticket base wants to make more changes.
“I imagine there will be some more — people still not thinking it safe enough or they don’t want to wear a mask — so it’s possible the number could drop under 135,000 and we’ll have to sell more tickets. We want everyone who wants to be there to have a seat and the agreement with the city accommodates the fans that want to be there.”
The only big challenge remaining would be spacing. “There has to be some spacing of customer groups in their row and in order not to move people from their traditional space it might be better to reduce their allocation,” said Miles.
As for the Indy Grand Prix that kicks off the month of May here, it’s never drawn big crowds and Miles says tickets will be “no issue.”