Excitement fills air in Speedway with news of Indianapolis 500 sellout

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SPEEDWAY, Ind. - As you’d imagine, lots of folks in central Indiana are quite excited about the Indianapolis 500 selling out for the first time in history.

IMS officials made the announcement Wednesday morning. The sellout also removes a long-standing blackout on the race being broadcast live in central Indiana.

The expected crowd of 400,000 will make Sunday a huge day for Indiana on the national and international stage.

If you want to come to the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 and haven’t bought a ticket, prepare to pay up.

By Wednesday night, prices on StubHub started at $125 for general admission, and the priciest seats cost well into the thousands.

“It’s supply and demand. If supply isn’t there and demand is, the prices are going to go higher and higher,” said Kim Donahue, Senior Lecturer of Marketing, at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Donahue said the race proves the point, yet again, that Indianapolis is a wildly successful sports town, capable of hosting world-class events. The 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 is yet another one to add to the list.

“It sends a message to the rest of the country. Look at what Indiana pulled off. Look at what IMS did,” she said.

Big Woods Speedway restaurant just opened two weeks ago. Owner Jeff McCabe said the business at 10th and Main Street is preparing for record crowds, since they can now show the race live.

He’s confident they’ll fill up the bar area along with a large beer garden.

“It’s the talk of the place today, everybody inside at the bar, at the tables, are talking about the fact that they’ll be able to see the race here in town,” he said, “We’ll have a place where people can be close to the track, close to the venue, and be part of it, even if they can’t get a ticket.”

Michelle Chasteen hails from Speedway and sported her spark plug earrings and IMS-themed shoes Wednesday. She said she can’t wait for Sunday.

“We’ve been gearing up for this for a long time,” she said, “Definitely a really energizing feeling for the town.”

Ken Warburton traveled to Speedway from Sydney, Australia for his 4th race. He said he wouldn’t have missed the 100th Indianapolis 500.

“It’s the greatest race on earth,” he said, “I want to be part of 350,000 people.”

IMS officials are echoing the message to race-goers on Sunday to plan ahead, come out to the track early, and be patient.

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