What you need to know before Race Day

Photo from Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – One of the biggest weekends of the year is upon us and you want to be as prepared as you can be.

Race weekend is taking over the city this weekend, and race officials are urging the public to show up early to the Indy 500.

Large crowds are once again expected and officials stress the easiest way to get in is to arrive at the track by the time the gates open at 6 a.m.

“Momentum from the 100th Running has carried over into this year’s race, and we expect our second-largest crowd in at least the last 20 years,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “So we’re encouraging fans to get here early and take a little extra time to map out their route to the Speedway and fully plan their day at the track.”

Fans looking to beat traffic and avoid longer lines can take advantage of many fun opportunities early on Race Day, including:

  • IMS Museum – The museum, which opens at 6 a.m. Sunday, features an exhibit honoring four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt this year.
  • Fan Midway – The Fan Midway features several exciting attractions, including the NERF Nitro Kids Zone and interactive events from Yamaha, Crown Royal, Disney and more. The action-packed Chevy Stage is also in the lot adjacent to the Midway.
  • Shopping and Food – A wide array of 101st Running attire and collectibles will go fast, so don’t miss out! Shop for family and friends while supplies last. All concessions and retailers will open at 6 a.m.
  • Borg-Warner Trophy March to the Bricks – The Borg-Warner Trophy will begin a march to the iconic Yard of Bricks by 8 a.m. from the IMS Museum. Line up outside the west side of the Museum for a chance to see the Borg-Warner Trophy.
  • IMS Red Carpet – For the 101st Running, the IMS Red Carpet is moving just north of the Pagoda with celebrities walking the carpet between 9-10 a.m.
  • Rolling Stage – Back for another year is the rolling stage, which will begin circling the track at 10 a.m.
  • Pre-Race Ceremonies – This year’s pre-race ceremonies will serve as a fitting, stunning tribute to our nation’s military heroes and continue as America’s greatest Memorial Day Weekend sporting tradition.

Other important tips IMS wants to remind you of before the big day:

  • Plan Your Visit – Use the IMS Plan Your Visit Hub to enhance your day at the race. The hub includes the most current information on parking, schedules, directions, allowed and prohibited items, plus much more.
  • IMS App and Twitter – Download the IMS app, available on both iPhone and Android, before Race Weekend. Officials urge you to follow IMS, Speedway Police and Indiana State Police on Twitter for latest Race Day updates.
  • Cooler, Backpack restrictions – No coolers larger than 18 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches can be brought into the facility, which will be strictly enforced. Fans will be allowed to bring one cooler and one standard backpack or book bag per person.
  • Parking – All IMS exterior parking lots open at 5 a.m. on Race Morning, while interior lots open at 6 a.m. All IMS exterior and interior parking is sold out. A limited number of IMS ADA parking passes remain available for purchase. These must be purchased before Race Morning at the IMS Ticket Office.
  • Gate 2, Gate 10 Access – Gate 2 and Gate 10 are not accessible via car on Race Day without a pre-paid parking pass. Fans with a pre-paid parking pass in Turn 3 must enter IMS through Gate 10, not Gate 2.
  • Road Closures – To increase the safety and security of race patrons, Speedway Police will close Georgetown Rd. and 16th St. to all traffic during the running of the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500.
  • Georgetown Road will be closed south of 25th Street beginning at 7 a.m. After Georgetown Road is closed, no vehicular traffic, including placarded traffic, will be allowed to access the roadway. Race patrons with pre-paid parking passes who are accustomed to entering IMS Gate 7 must enter through Gate 2 (W. 16th Street) or Gate 10 (30th Street).
  • 16th Street will be closed between Olin Avenue on the east to the 16th Street roundabout on the west from approximately 11 a.m. until the race ends. In addition, 16th Street will not be accessible from Polco Street, as it will be blocked at 10th Street.
  • Once 16th Street is closed, traffic traveling east on Crawfordsville Road from the west will be turned around at the 16th Street roundabout. Traffic traveling west on 16th Street from downtown will be diverted south on Olin Avenue.

Visit IMS.com to purchase tickets for the 101st Indianapolis 500.