Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles said that his staff is "working on a plan" that would have the No. 1 starting position for the Indianapolis 500 "decided in the final minutes of qualifying weekend," according to Curt Cavin of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Pole day has been reserved for the first qualifying day "throughout most of the 500's history." Miles said that the potential change is "based on a general desire to strengthen the 500's events." That includes IndyCar's first road race at IMS on May 10 and "having two meaningful days of qualifying for the 500 (May 17-18)." Miles "likes the idea of all the cars qualifying on Saturday, May 17, with the Sunday session reserved for setting the order of those cars." He acknowledged that qualifying both days "will be taxing on the teams," but added that there "could be financial incentives" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 11/12).
Events and Attractions
Circuit of the Americas officials on Friday said that they are "working to resolve ticketing problems for the upcoming Formula One race, a snag that one fan called 'a real black eye for Austin tourism,'" according to Doolittle & Maher of the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN. COTA Chair Bobby Epstein said that fans "will be able to pick up their replacement tickets and parking passes next week at several will-call locations," and added that track employees "will even deliver tickets to local hotels for out-of-town visitors." He said, "We don’t want anyone to have a bad experience because of ticket delivery." He added that Ticketmaster "informed the circuit that the last batch of U.S. Grand Prix tickets, a group of 400," was sent out yesterday. The circuit’s Facebook page this week was "lighting up with fans’ complaints that, with the big race now just a week away, they had yet to receive their tickets." COTA officials said that the tickets "did ship a week later this year because of design and information updates required by Formula One Management" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 11/9).
Officials from the City of San Antonio and Ryan-Sanders Baseball on Friday announced a two-year extension of H-E-B Big League Weekend, and the '14 event will feature two exhibition games between the Astros and Rangers at the Alamodome. The '14 Big League Weekend will take place March 28-29 (MLB). In San Antonio, Jabari Young noted last year's inaugural Big League Weekend featured the Rangers and Padres, drawing "more than 75,000 fans to the Alamodome for the two games." To accommodate baseball in a venue designed for football, the field was "laid out at an angle that produced major-league distances of 354 feet down the left-field line and 410 to center field but only 285 feet to right." Officials after last year's event "received feedback about what worked -- and what didn't." Changes planned for the '14 event include "improved lighting, which dropped off as players went from fair to foul territory." Also, Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan said that the bullpens will be "moved onto the field and the location of home plate may be tweaked" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 11/9).