IMS: Ticket sales strong for 101st Indianapolis 500

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The logo for the 101st Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A year after the Indianapolis 500 saw record-setting attendance numbers, race leaders have worked year-round to make sure numbers don’t dip too much for this year’s race. Race day is less than five weeks away.

According to  president Doug Boles, pre-race ticket sales have gone better than first expected.

“I think our attendance is going to be better than it’s been in the last 20 years, with the exception of last year, which we expect,” Boles said earlier in April during the race’s banner unveiling at the downtown JW Marriott. “The 100th running we talked about for a long time and there was an awful lot of enthusiasm around it. Our ticket sales have been stronger than we’ve anticipated. When people come in the venue this year, they’re going to sit, and with the exception of last year, they’re going to say, wow, this is an unbelievable crowd.”

Global ticket sales spiked shortly after F1 driver Fernando Alonso announced he would run the 500 this year.

Leaders have once again promoted the race in the Midwest.

“We’ve been down to Cincinnati and we’re doing all these town halls throughout the Midwest,” Boles said. “We’re really focused heavily on the Midwest, not just going out and meeting with people but in our ad campaigns.”

This race could also attract more fans from the Windy City with Jim Cornelison, known for his powerful rendition of the national anthem before Chicago Blackhawks games, who will sing “Back Home Again in Indiana.” Cornelison is also a 1992 graduate of the Master of Music program at Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music.

“Outside of Indianapolis, Chicago is the next biggest city that brings in the most people to the Indianapolis 500,” Boles said. “So connecting with them a voice that, frankly, Indy 500 fans are going to be excited about and we feel really delivers ‘Back Home Again in Indiana’ the way we expect it.”

Click here for a complete schedule of race events.