Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Looks To Fan Experience For Increased Attendance
While the Indianapolis 500 "ranks at or near the top of the most attended races" in motorsports, IMS President Doug Boles is "convinced he can win his race to bring more fans to the track" for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 and other events, according to Michael Marot of the AP. Boles "keeps looking for ways to fill seats," but every year, the challenge of "keeping racing fans engaged gets a little tougher." Still, Boles "is sticking to his master plan." He said, "Our focus last year and more so this year was how do we make the fan experience really great. We want to make sure it’s a great experience, and we believe that if we can deliver that, we can deliver on putting fans in the seats." Boles "points to the uptick in infield ticket sales on a rainy weekend" for this year's Brickyard 400, "even though those tickets are cheaper and allow children 12 and under to get in for free with a paying adult." Attendance at the Brickyard 400 was 85,000, and some argue that making the event a night race "would help" draw bigger crowds. Boles: "Everyone agrees that Indianapolis Motor Speedway under lights would be really cool. But it’s hard to make that case from a business sense. It would take an estimated $20 to $25 million to do it and that’s on the low end." Boles also "is looking to add bigger concerts and more races to Indy’s already busy schedule" (AP, 7/30).