Building on the notable audience growth reported by the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach for the 48th running of the Long Beach Grand Prix, Penske Entertainment says two of its upcoming events are seeing meaningful increases in ticket sales.
Starting with the second installment of August’s Hy-Vee IndyCar Weekend doubleheader at Iowa Speedway, Penske Corporation president Bud Denker – a veteran leader within Penske’s event promotions team – says he’s happy with the response to the two races and the musical lineup that includes Ed Sheeran and Carrie Underwood.
“We’re way up to the prior year,” Denker told RACER. “But remember last year, we didn’t put the tickets out until the first part of April, so it is really hard to compare year over year. But we’ll have a really good crowd and our entertainment lineup is better than it was last year. So we’ll have a good show.
“I think we’ll have more people than we had last year because Hy-Vee is building some additional bleachers around Turn 4 in pit lane. We’re also putting more suites in Turn 1 behind pit lane. They’ve had so much response from their sponsors, their suppliers, that they’re going to actually have more suites than we had last year.
“And you’ve got all the bands, Zac Brown and Kenny Chesney, too. The lineup is just immense. When have you seen out there? It’s a Coachella Festival in the middle of Iowa.”
Based on the latest inventory shown by Ticketmaster, Club seating is sold out for both Iowa race and concert days while a generous array of standard seats remain available for purchase. Denker’s enthusiasm for Iowa’s second installation as a music and motor racing mashup was equaled by all that’s developing at the reimagined Detroit Grand Prix he oversees for Penske Entertainment.
According to Denker, the shift from decades of racing at Belle Isle to a new downtown street circuit configuration in the Motor City has been met with unparalleled response from local businesses and event sponsors.
“It’s gonna be a big event in Detroit; we’ve sold 64 chalets from a lot of 70,” he said. “To give you a comparison, we had 23 last year on Belle Isle. Pit lane has now installed, that dual pit lane, so you have an idea of what this is really going to look like now.
“Our ticket sales are up to almost 105 percent. We sold out all of the hairpins which is where a lot of the action is gonna be. So it’s gonna be an amazing event.”