SBD/July 3, 2013/Events and Attractions

IndyCar Returns To Pocono This Weekend, Giving Drivers, Fans Nostalgic Feeling

Pocono Raceway President & CEO Brandon Igdalsky "senses excitement about IndyCars returning to the track under a 3-year agreement" beginning with Sunday's Pocono IndyCar 400 Fueled by Sunoco after a 24-year absence, according to Bill Fleischman of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. Igdalsky "won't forecast an attendance figure for Sunday's race." He said, "A lot of fans who haven't been here since 1989 say they are coming. They say, 'My dad used to bring me to races here when I was a kid; now I'm bringing my dad and my kids.'" When IndyCar drivers tested at Pocono in April, Igdalsky "spoke with several fans who are primarily NASCAR fans." They were "curious about open-wheel racing," and Igdalsky thinks a "fair number of them will attend Sunday's race." Meanwhile, former IndyCar driver Mario Andretti thinks the Izod IndyCar Series is "headed in the right direction." Andretti: "The product is there. The competition is high quality. We'd like to see the race cultivated properly. We're close to two major markets, New York and Philadelphia. The area is fertile with race fans. The series is stable. It took a long time, but no longer are two series battling each other" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 7/3). ABC analyst Scott Goodyear said, "There's a lot of excitement, not just with the fans, but within the series for this race." He added, "There are some tracks that really helped to form IndyCar racing in this country, and Pocono, to me, is one of them. People are becoming a little nostalgic about this race. They know this track carries a lot of meaning. The drivers are intrigued and excited" (Allentown MORNING CALL, 7/3).

THAT'S THE TICKET: Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials said that they have “seen no adverse sales impact from a risky move to raise ticket prices for the 2014 Indianapolis 500 by about 15 percent -- the first price increase in almost a decade.” IMS COO Doug Boles said that ticket renewals are “actually up 1 percent or so over this same time a year ago.” In Indianapolis, Anthony Schoettle notes IMS officials “expect another attendance increase” next year. The track “hadn’t enacted a ticket increase" for the Indianapolis 500 since '04. Boles said, “We looked at the demand and we saw on eBay that our $150 tickets were selling for between $350 and $550” (INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/1 issue).
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